Dr Taiwo Sholaja, the lead pathologist, who carried out the autopsy on the body of the late Senator Isiaka Adeleke, yesterday told a coroner's inquest ordered by Osun State Government that no trace of poison was found in the body system of the deceased when it was examined.
This came as the health assistant that allegedly administered injections on the late senator could not testify owing to a lack of interpreter. His lawyer said he could not speak English fluently.
Sholaja, giving evidence before the coroner, Chief Magistrate Olusegun Ayilara, said the autopsy carried out by him and two other pathologists from Ladoke Akintola University Hospital, Osogbo, revealed that the late senator died of "aspiration of gastric content due to multiple drug overdose."
He said the autopsy carried out by him and his team was performed in the presence of the Police Divisional Officer of Dugbe Police Station, Osogbo, SP Ogunkanmi Gbemileke and two other pathologists from LAUTECH.
Sholaja also said that before the autopsy, he gathered from a family member, Mrs Modupe Adeleke-Sani, that the late politician had complained of pains in the knees, and inability to sleep.
He added that some drugs were said to have been administered on him.
Sholaja said after an examination was carried out on Adeleke's body, it was discovered that the drugs administered on him in excess quantity caused his death as his breathing was blocked due to its side effect.
"Aspiration of the gastric content blocked his airwaves through depriving the body of oxygen which was also evident in the bluish discolouration shown on some parts of the deceased's body," he said.
He said the used containers of the drugs administered on him indicated that a banned drug, Analgin injection as well as Diazepam injection, pentasozine injection, gentamicin and hydrocortisone drugs were administered on him.
The pathologist said the side effects of most of the drugs given to the deceased included drowsiness, vomiting and cardiovascular collapse which resulted in blockage of his breathing.
He said though the deceased had a hypertensive heart desease which could have caused sudden death, there was, however, no evidence of this from the result of the autopsy.
Sholaja also said the police toxicologist report, which was presented to him after samples were taken, showed abnormally high level of alcohol, sedatives and Analgin in the blood of the deceased.
No traces of poison and metal was, however, found, he said.
Gbemileke, the DPO of Dugbe Police Station and the Officer in charge of Homicide, SP Etetah Moses, both confirmed that the empty bottles and injections of the drugs given to the deceased were in police custody.
Absence of interpreter stalls Health Assistant's testimony
The Heath Assistant, Mr Alfred Aderibigbe, who allegedly administered some injections on the late Senator Isiaka Adeleke, at home shortly before his death could not testify before the coroner, Mr Olusegun Ayilara yesterday.
His counsel, Mr Lekan Alabi, said his client needed an interpreter due to his inability to speak English language fluently.
The Health Assistant had appeared and on entering the witness box, he started shaking his head apparently in regret but the coroner, who noticed this told him to relax.
The coroner told him, "I know you are traumatised, you don't need it. Relax, this is not a criminal court."
But his counsel told the court that Aderibigbe would require an interpreter before he could testify.
The coroner adjourned till today for his evidence.
Adeleke family mulls legal options over autopsy report
Meantime, the family of late Senator Isiaka Adeleke says it will consider all legal options against the Chief Medical Director of Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, Prof. Akeem Lasisi, over the autopsy result conducted on the late politician.
Dr Deji Adeleke, immediate younger brother of the deceased, told newsmen yesterday in Ede that the family had not received the autopsy result and will not speculate on its contents.
Adeleke, however, said the family was worried over the statement credited to Lasisi at the coroner's inquest that the deceased died as a result of overdose of a banned injection when the result of the autopsy was yet to be delivered to it.
He said: "We state that as at now, the family has not received the autopsy report and the family will not engage in speculations over its contents.
"However, it has come to the knowledge of the family that the LAUTECH CMD on May 15 appeared before the kangaroo inquest set up by the state government and gave evidence of the cause of Sen. Isiaka Adeleke's death when neither the family had been briefed nor the autopsy report released. "
Adeleke said when the family requested for the autopsy result from the CMD on May 9, he confirmed that it was ready and that a copy of the result had been given to the Osun Police Command and the Chief Pathologist at LAUTECH.
The family, he said, queried the CMD for releasing a copy of the result to the police without giving any to the family.
Adeleke, who said Lasisi later promised to send a copy of the result to the family on May 15, he added:
"The family later called the CMD to remind him of the autopsy result as promised but he changed the story again, saying the report was not ready.
"When the family asked him when the report would be ready, he responded that it would be ready "as soon as possible."
Adeleke said unknown to the family, the CMD had already appeared and testified before the coroner inquest the same day.
But in his reaction, Lasisi told the News Agency of Nigeria that the autopsy report was not with him.
Lasisi said he acted within the law to testify at the coroner's inquest, adding that he did not claim to have seen the result.
"I don't have the result with me and the only person that can give the result is the pathologist.
"Maybe, they are talking out of ignorance because I don't have the result," he said. Lasisi maintained that he was only an administrator of the hospital and not a pathologist.
"I am a surgeon and administrator of the hospital, so the person who writes the result is the pathologist.
"I have told the Minister of Health as well that I don't have the result.
"As I am talking to you, I have not set my eyes on the result," he said.
Lasisi on Monday appeared before the coroner's inquest set up by the state government and gave evidence that the deceased died as a result of overdose from a banned injection.
Aregbesola on May 2 signed an executive order setting up a coroner inquest into the death of Adeleke.
Adeleke, 62, who died on April 23, represented Osun West Senatorial District in the Senate on the platform of the ruling APC.