The police in Benin, the Edo State capital, have confirmed the death of a medical doctor simply identified as Dr Ogbeide, who died in mysterious circumstances.
Ogbeide was of the Radiology Department of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.
While many in the hospital said the doctor was kidnapped and murdered, the UBTH management, however, noted that it was not aware that any of its doctors was kidnapped.
Palpable fear enveloped the hospital, as some workers, who did not want to be named, said the doctor’s death was cult-related.
He was said to have returned to Benin from a trip on Saturday and was seen standing by the roadside in front of the hospital in Ugbowo, where he was said to have been whisked away in a car by unknown men.
The Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr Hakeem Odumosu, confirmed the incident to our correspondent on the telephone.
Odumosu stated, “It is not a case of murder or kidnap. The doctor checked into a hotel on Saturday. He was not seen going out on Sunday and nobody visited him. So, the door was forced opened on Sunday.
“He was found lying face-down on bed. The bed sheet was not even ruffled. There was also a bottle of soft drink in the room.
“There was no sign of struggle or anything on him. We are looking into a possible case of suicide or suffocation. We are waiting for the autopsy report from the hospital. They are going to do a scan on the body.”
Earlier, when contacted for clarification, the Public Relations Officer, UBTH, Joshua Uwaila, said he was not aware whether the doctor was kidnapped or not.
“I don’t have the information that a doctor was kidnapped,” he said.
In another incident, a middle-aged man, who has not been identified, was reportedly shot dead on Sunday at Isiohor, a few metres away from the University of Benin main gate.
Unconfirmed reports had it that the assailants laid an ambush for the victim, while he was returning home.
He was allegedly shot from behind and the bullets hit him on the back of the skull.
Renewed clashes between members of the Aiye and Eiye cult groups have claimed several lives in Edo State since last December.