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Late Sugar’s Family Slam N200 Million Damages On UCH For Sharing His Gory Photos On Social Media

The family of the late Hon. Temitope Olatoye Sugar has petitioned the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, seeking N200 million damages for the sharing of the deceased’s ‘horrific’ photographs on social media without approval.

In the petition prepared by Barr. C. C. Amedu of Ikeh Sunday Chambers, Ibadan, a copy of which was obtained by The Nation newspaper, Olatoye’s family accused the hospital of allowing the gory photographs of the late lawmaker in his dying hours at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital to be circulated on social media, thereby causing members of his family a lot of grief.

The petition was also sent to the Minister of Health and the Ibadan Chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).

The petition read in part:

“Flowing from the above, it is disheartening that despite the earlier instructions and directives from your staff at the Intensive Care Unit and Pathology Department, your staff caused/allowed the taking, circulation and publication of horrific and dehumanizing photographs of the deceased which have been trending online and all over social media without the prior consent of the deceased or his relatives. We hereby attached some of the photographs for your kind perusal and necessary action.

“A cursory assessment of the attached photographs revealed that the deceased as at the time the photographs were taken, was still at the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital in a pool of blood, therefore, it is reasonable and unarguable to believe that only your staff could access the unit at the material time.

“The above conduct of your staff suggested that instead of your personnel on duty to have acted in their full professional capacity, focusing on taking care of the deceased, which might have probably saved his life, they were busy taking his pictures which perhaps for the purpose of selling same to social media operators as it can be seen trending online.”

They posited that the trending online photographs have been serving as a painful reminder to Hon. Sugar’s gruesome murder, adding that they also subjected members of the family to “a lasting unimaginable depression, mental and psychological torture.”

Describing the act as an “unethical and brazen display of professional misconduct” of the hospital’s staff, the Olatoyes also demanded the immediate recall of the published photographs from the public domain and punishment for the staff guilty of the offence. They also demanded a written apology from the said members of staff which should be published in not least than three national newspapers.

Should the hospital fail to accede to the above request within seven days, the Olatoyes threatened to ‘commence an aggravated negligence action against the hospital in court.’

Hon. Olatoye was shot in the eye by unknown gunmen at about 6:30 pm on March 9 while the counting and sorting of the governorship and House of Assembly elections were going on. He was immediately rushed to the UCH for medical attention but died shortly after. Until his death, he was representing Lagelu/Akinyele Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.

The member representing Lagelu Constituency in the Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon. Olafisoye, and four others are being questioned over his death.

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Posted by on March 18, 2019.

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