7 KATH Officials Charged Over Missing Stillborn Baby

Seven officials of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) have been arrested in connection with the missing body of a stillborn baby at the hospital.

All the seven, who have been charged with two counts of stealing and conspiracy to steal, have been released on police enquiry bail, while the docket on the case has been sent to the Attorney-General’s (A-G’s) Department for advice.

The Ashanti Regional Police Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Yussif Tanko, who confirmed this to the Daily Graphic, said the seven were initially arrested and released on bail but were rearrested, charged and granted bail.

He, however, declined to give further details on the identities of the suspects, except to say that “we are waiting for advice from the Attorney-General’s Department to know our next line of action”.

He said as soon as the advice was received from the A-G’s Department, the police would proceed from there.
Background

The KATH has been in the news lately over the missing body of a stillborn who was delivered to Madam Suwaiba Abdul-Mumin, a resident of Aboabo, a predominantly Muslim community in Kumasi.

She was referred to the hospital in the early hours of February 5, this year, and was delivered of the baby who was, unfortunately, dead, according to the hospital officials.

The hospital, however, was unable to produce the body of the baby when Suwaiba’s family requested for it, as it was alleged to have been taken away by a cleaner who came to clean the ward.

The management of the hospital handed over the cleaner to the police because it was not satisfied with the explanation he gave to them about the missing baby.

The story of the missing baby led to a standoff between the family and the management of the hospital, a situation which compelled some youth from Aboabo Zongo to storm the Labour Ward of KATH to assault the members of staff on duty and to demand the body of the baby.

The attack infuriated the medical staff of the hospital, who also embarked on a 10-day strike to protest against the action of the youth from Aboabo Zongo and the lack of security at the hospital.

Through the intervention of the Ashanti Regional Security Council and other stakeholders, the doctors called off their strike last Friday.
Facebook account

Meanwhile, sympathisers of Suwaiba have set up a Facebook account to garner support to put pressure on the hospital authorities to produce the baby or the body.

They have also created a website to gather at least 1,000 signatures to petition the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to demand Suwaiba’s baby or its body, while asking that all those under whose watch the despicable and irresponsible act happened should resign immediately and be made to face the full rigours of the law.

Though the Facebook page, KATH, Where is the Baby? has got over 1,350 likes, the webpage: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/facebook-page-for-suwaiba, had, as of press time Wedneday, only 197 signatures.
Demonstration

The group is planning a meeting at the Aboabo No.2 Bus Stop tomorrow to plan a peaceful demonstration on March 7.

However, the spokesperson for the family, Mohammed Abdul-Rahaman, told the Daily Graphic that the family was not aware of any planned demonstration.

“We don’t know the demonstrators and have not planned anything of the sort,” he said.

According to him, the family had confidence in the Ashanti Regional Security Council to unravel the mystery surrounding the disappearance of the baby or its body.

He said the family would only support a peaceful march but would not have anything to do with violence.

“But as of now we have not endorsed any action and have no knowledge of those planning the demonstration,” he said.

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