By Joseph Kingston, Calabar
The management of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCTH, has denied reports published in some national dailies hat three babies were stolen by robbers/kidnappers in the paediatric department of the hospital last Sunday.
In a press conference Tuesday, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, Prof Thomas Agan, described the said report as libellous, false and unwarranted fabrications, adding “we will demand that those reporters tell us how such thing happen. Such brand of journalism is unacceptable and we will not allow it.”
Recall that three national dailies (Orient Daily not included) had reported that armed robbers invaded the hospital, beat up nurses and patients, seized patients’ belonging and went away with three babies.
But Agan, flanked by other senior hospital management including Prof Obot Essien Antia-Obong who is in charge of new born babies, Dr Antigha Cobham, President, Resident Doctors Association, UCTH branch and Dr Eyong Umoh of the Paediatric unit, said such thing “did not happened and has never happened and will never happen.”
“This story is a blatant lie aimed at disparaging this hospital and indeed the management of this hospital. We will demand for proof of that report at the appropriate time.There should be ready to produce mothers of those babies. All our records are open for scrutiny. Whosoever wrote that reports will come out to explain to the world what he knows about such heavy allegation. This is frivolity taken to the extreme and we will not accept this anymore.
“It is true that there are security challenges nationwide but no armed robbers invaded UCTH as reported. That place they alleged babies were stolen is one of the most secured places in this hospital. The DSS and Operation Skolombo personnel patrol here regularly.
“It is true that due to non release of funds, our security unit has not been functioning properly but that does not mean that security is zero. The truth is that in the past, we had caught and handed to the police some hoodlums who sneaked in at night to steal, but there was no invasion and stealing of babies as alleged,” Again stated.
Also speaking, Dr Cobham said“On that Sunday which was mentioned in the said fake report, I was in the paediatric department of the hospital till 10 pm and nothing like that happened.”
On his part, Dr Eyong Umoh said “this is another case of fake news. No baby was kidnapped and there was no armed robbery attack in UCTH. The story is a total fabrication.”