FACT CHECK: Is Delta education commissioner paying the bills of victims of Issele Azagba secondary school herdsmen invasion? Check the contradictions

AUSTIN OYIBODE, EDITOR

Following the promise by the Delta state commissioner for basic and secondary education, Patrick Ukah, that the education ministry will foot the bills of the two victims of the Issele Azagba secondary school invasion by suspected Fulani herdsmen, Emerald Media crew visited the Federal Medical Centre where the two victims are hospitalized.

Prior to the visit on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at about 12.30pm, a facebook user, one Maureen Blossom, posted on facebook at about 9.30pm on Monday, October 21, 2019 that the two teachers have not been receiving the best attention from the ministry. But in a bid to authenticate the claim of Maureen, Emerald Media crew stormed the FMC for on the spot assessment.

Our editor contacted Maureen to supply the phone number of the victims. She supplied the phone number of one, Mr. Kaja Innocent, who is in the male ward two separated from Isioroh Ogheneroh who is in the intensive care unit (ICU) due to his critical condition.

At about 12.30pm on Tuesday, Emerald Media got to the male ward but the team was prevented by the security from assessing the victim on the premise that the visiting period was from 4.00pm, hence our editor was not given access into the male ward.

But being in possession of his phone number, a call was made to Kaja and the response is hereby reproduced verbatim.

How much have you spent so far? I can’t give complete figure because my wife is not here. But I can say about N110,000. As at yesterday, Monday, October 21, 2019, when we bought drugs, it is about N110,000.
Is it for only you or two of you? It’s for only me. Go to ICU and ask of Isioroh’s wife. See her and hear from her.

But the ministry officials are telling us that they have paid all the bills for both of you. Are you not hearing what I’m telling you, it was just this morning (Tuesday, October 22, 2019) that they now told us that from today we will not buy drugs again, they now brought what they will use to treat me this morning. But since then, we have been buying from our money.

Listen, it is like somebody put you in the hospital and said I will pay, but the hospital policy is that you will need to buy what they will use to treat you. If the person is not forth coming and you the patient, you need to buy the drugs for yourself. So, we are just hearing this morning that we will not buy drugs again. What happens to the previous money you have spent?

And those initial drugs are the ones that are costly, as the treatment progresses the cost reduces. What they will use to treat me the first day will be costlier than what they will use the second day. We may buy drugs of N30,000 the first day, the second day, we may drugs for N3000. Are you getting it? From injection, we have moved to tablets. Go to the ICU, you will hear from Isioroh’s wife.

But wife of Mr. Isioroh Ogheneroh at the ICU told Emeraldng.com a different story. For her, the ministry of education had given them as at Monday October 21, 2019, a total of N110,000 for her husband’s treatment.

She gave the breakdown as follows: Monday October 14, 2019, the day of the invasion N30,000; Tuesday N40,000; Wednesday and Thursday none; Friday October 18, 2019 N20,000 and Monday October 21 N20,000.

From her own explanation, her husband had received not less than N110,000 from the state ministry of education. However, said told Emeraldng.com that on their own part, they have also spent not less than N120,000 in addition to the contribution from the basic education ministry.

She added that she did not document all the expenses she made as she was just buying the drugs to secure her husband’s health. So, the figure she gave was an estimation of what she could remember of all the money she had spent on her husband’s treatment.

When a call was put to the commissioner for basic and secondary education, the phone was not reachable. Hence, our editor turned to his special assistant, Mr. Sam Ijeh, to get details. The discussion between Ijeh and our editor is also reproduced verbatim.

Emerald: Commissioner made promise of footing the bills of the victims from Issele Azagba secondary school, but we understand that till yesterday, Monday, October 21, nothing has been done. They are looking for money on their own to spend.

Sam Ijeh: No, I don’t think that is correct. I know the director of schools goes there every day to offset their bills. Let me see the director of schools I will get back to you. I know she is always going there to settle what is outstanding. I will get back to you.

Ijeh back from director of school: I just spoke to the director of schools. She said any bill that is outstanding must be after the treatment of Monday October 21. So, she is going there now to see any outstanding bill to pay.

Emerald: They told me that since the day they got there till today, they have been using their money to settle their bills till this morning (Tuesday).

Ijeh: No! no!! no!!! That person is being mischievous. The commissioner paid all the bills himself and now handed other payments to the director of schools. How can they talk like that na!

Emerald: If it is so, then, there is a problem somewhere.

Ijeh: I don’t think it is true. The director of schools was there yesterday (Monday). She paid the outstanding bills, she is going there now (Tuesday) to pay any outstanding bill between yesterday and today.

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