The pathologist, who conducted an autopsy on the late Senator Isiaka Adeleke, Dr. Olufemi Solaja, yesterday appeared at the coroner’s inquest set up by the Osun State government.
Solaja, who carried out the examination at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, said there were no traces of poison or heavy metal in the deceased’s body.
The pathologist said the late Adeleke was given an overdose of sedative and analgesic medicines.
Solaja, a consultant anatomic pathologist at LAUTECH hospital, was led in evidence by Mrs. Oyindamola Daramola, a senior legal officer for the hospital.
Solaja said: “The police brought empty vials and ample of these drugs. Eventually, the deceased was taken to a private hospital where he was confirmed dead and from there he was brought to LAUTECH for autopsy.”
He said histology of tissues from the body of the deceased was normal, except from the heart, which he explained showed hypertrophy, adding that the liver revealed alcoholic steato-hypatitis.
Solaja went on: “Death in this case was due to aspiration of gastric content. Although the deceased had hypertensive heart disease, which could have caused sudden death, there was no evidence of such, either grossly or microscopically.
“It is known that excessive alcoholic intake may depress the central nervous system with the blunting of the gas influx. This may also induce vomiting. The deceased was sedated and was given an overdose of analgesic. These drugs are known to cause central nervous system depression.
“He apparently vomited and aspirated due to the sedation, so the aspiration of the gastric content blocked the airways, depriving the body of oxygen. This showed up in the body as stinge of colouration. This could cause vital seizure of the system.
“The toxicology report also showed abnormally high levels of alcohol, sedative and analgesic in the blood of the deceased. There were no traces of poison, or heavy metals in the toxicology report. The police did the toxicology examination and the result was given to me on May 15.”
The pathologist tendered a copy of the autopsy report and the court admitted it as exhibit EC3.
He told the coroner that a copy of the toxicology report was not released to him after reading it.
A health assistant, Mr. Alfred Aderibigbe, who allegedly treated the deceased when he complained of pains, testified before the coroner, but his evidence was not taken.
His lawyer, Mr. Lekan Alabi, pleaded with the coroner to adjourn his evidence till tomorrow, saying he was served a summons on Tuesday.
He said Aderibigbe was still suffering from psychological trauma following Adeleke’s death, therefore he was not prepared to give evidence.
Alabi asked for an interpreter on the grounds that Aderibigbe would give evidence in Yoruba language.
The coroner, Chief Magistrate Olusegun Ayilara, adjourned till today to take Aderibigbe’s evidence.
The family of the late Adeleke yesterday said it would consider legal options against the inquest.
Addreasing a news conference at the deceased’s Ede country home, his younger brother, Deji, on behalf of the family, said: “We believe the outcome of the inquest was predetermined and designed to serve its interest.”
He said the family had submitted to the sovereignty of the Almighty God, adding that it never intended to fight anyone.
“We, however, call for an autopsy to know the cause of his death.”