By: Eromo Egbejule
The medical condition of suspected man-eater, Clifford Oji, 46, infamous for his arrest over a decade ago for alleged trafficking and consumption of human parts, seems to have worsened as there are signs that he is now totally insane at the Kirikiri Maximum Prison, Lagos, where he has been remanded since, with an awaiting-trial status.
This much was disclosed by Deputy Comptroller of Prisons, Mr. Noel Ailewon, during a visit by the Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye and representatives of the Office of the Public Defender, OPD. The visit to the prisons was to evaluate the number of awaiting-trial persons and possibly secure the release of those who should not to be there.
Mr. Ailewon, who said Oji was in a bad state, as his health had deteriorated, told the commisioner that, “Orji’s health is getting worse. He has gone completely mad, vomiting and even defecating without restraint and is naked most of the time.”
OPD Director, Mrs. Omotola Rotimi, said efforts were made to address Orji’s mental state, but regretted that all proved abortive.
The suspect, she saidd, had been taken to two psychiatric hospitals for treatment where he was rejected. Both mental institutions include the Yaba Psychiatric Hospital, Lagos and an unnamed hospital in Ewekoro, Ogun State.
Ipaye said Oji’s state was partly due to the inability of his case to be heard, and that the new development could possibly keep him behind bars for a longer period on the list of those awaiting trial.
In his words, “Orji is mentally disturbed and no hospital is accepting him. Unfortunately, one cannot be tried except one is mentally stable. So, he is stuck in the middle and all we can do is to find help for him.”
Orji, was arrested in February 1999 by the police, under the bridge along the Apapa-Oshodi expressway and was subsequently charged before an Ebute Meta Magistrate’s Court. He is yet to be tried.