Police have told the parents of a dead child, Mr and Mrs Solomon Igwe, who were alleging ritual practice against a medical doctor, over the mutilation of the ear of their dead daughter in a hospital in Anambra State.

The newborn child had died at the private hospital in Onitsha, Anambra State in 2015, but its parents later discovered that one of the baby’s ear was mutilated, while also alleging that the doctor in charge, Dr Oliver Umeh, may have used her for ritual purposes.

But a police report on the matter, has exonerated the medical doctor, saying the missing ear had been eaten by rodents.

The incident had led to mass arrest of staff of the hospital, while several petitions had also been written to the Inspector General of Police, the Nigeria Medical Association, and even wife of the governor of Anambra State, Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano, by the parents who hail from Ebonyi State.

But the report by the office of the Inspector-General of Police stated that rats actually ate the baby’s ear at the hospital.

Part of the report read, “In the course of the investigation, statements of parties to the case were recorded and the scene of crime was visited. Detectives also viewed the corpse of the deceased baby.

“An autopsy was conducted on the remains of the deceased baby, but the parents contested the outcome.

“This occasioned the parents of the deceased baby to arrange for another pathologist, who conducted a second autopsy.

“In the course of investigation, it was established that Mr Solomon Igwe and his wife, Bridget, brought their five-day-old baby girl to the Victory Children’s Hospital, Onitsha, as a referral case from St. Mary’s Hospital, Okpoko Onitsha.

“It was also revealed that 45 minutes after their arrival, the baby died in the presence of the parents while on admission, but the parents could not collect the corpse on that fateful day, but on arrival for the collection of the corpse the following day for burial, it was discovered that the deceased’s right ear had been severed; they alerted the police.”

The report added that police investigation revealed that the parents capitalised on the discovered severed ear and became suspicious of the cause of death.

It further stated that both the first and second post-mortem examinations conducted on the insistence of the father of the deceased baby revealed that the ear was apparently removed by rodents, hence the serrated edges of the defect left behind.

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