Oct 24, 2015 – Husband Of Lagos Doctor Who Jumped To Her Death Granted Bail, Dr Femi Thomas Says Wife Mentally Unstable
It might forever remain a mystery as to what led to the death of Dr Hestianna Thomas, Consultant Paediatrician at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Lagos. On October 14, 2015. Her husband, Dr Femi Thomas, Consultant Clinical Pathologist at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja got the shock of his life when he realized that his wife with whom he had gone to bed earlier was lying motionless at their back yardbleeding to death.
It was gathered that late Dr. Hestianna, a mother of two was suspected to have sneaked out of her apartment which is on the ground floor and climbed to the roof top of the two storey building at Ajao Estate, Lagos.
It was about 3am when her husband noticed that she was no longer on the bed. He searched for her and discovered her badly wounded on the floor of their backyard. His scream alerted the neigbours while he rushed her to the nearest hospital at Ajao estate. He was advised to move her to LUTH where she was confirmed dead.
As expected, Dr Thomas reported the matter to Ajao police station where he was detained as a prime suspect. At the station, he told them that he had no hand in the death of his wife.
Although initial facts on ground indicate that it was a case of suicide, a close examination of her body revealed a lot of lacerations and the head had a deep cut which was one of the reasons further investigation was required.
The matter was later transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) where he was granted bail. Although Dr Thomas is on bail, Saturday Sun gathered that police investigation into the matter continues.
One of the investigating officers who spoke with Saturday Sun correspondent on condition that his name should not be mentioned confirmed that Dr Thomas was on bail. “We have been told to release him on bail and his in-laws even came here and said that their daughter committed suicide. When policemen visited the house, they observed footprints on the roof where she was alleged to have fallen from. It’s strange because the couple lives on the ground floor. We will simply complete the investigation and hand over our report in case any other development comes up in the future.
“If it is true that she actually committed suicide as a result of insanity then LUTH will have a lot of questions to answer. How can a mentally unstable person be accepted as a consultant in a reputable teaching hospital like LUTH? She must have been prescribing all kinds of drugs to unknown victims,” he said.
On the deep cuts found on her body, the police officer said there is a possibility that the woman walked up to the roof top but never had the intention to jump. “It’s possible when she slipped off from the roof top, she tried to hold on to the metals in an attempt to save her life. I believe that was how she sustained that cut. If it is confirmed that she was mentally unstable, then she could have jumped from the roof top.”
When Saturday Sun visited their residential compound at Ajao Estate, Lagos, it was deserted except for the gateman, who identified himself as Sani. He gladly took the correspondents on a tour of the compound while he narrated what he saw.
He explained that on the day of the incident, he was woken up by Dr Thomas at 3am when he discovered his wife on the floor of their backyard. “I don’t know how it happened but when Doctor woke me up, she was already on the floor bleeding. Doctor cannot kill his wife, although I do not know the kind of Juju that they used to make her climb upstairs and jump, It is not normal because she was not sick. I have worked in this compound for three years and I have not seen or heard madam fight her husband. It’s only God that knows what happened,” Sani said.
At the roof top where she supposedly took a dive, Sani explained that the door leading to the top was never locked. “We do not lock it because that is where the TV things (DSTV dishes) are kept. It’s only God that knows what happened. Their children are now at Oshodi with their grandmother,”, the gateman added.
Also spotted in the compound was Dr Femi’s immediate neighbour who also lives on the ground floor, relaxing outside reading. Initially, he refused to talk to our Correspondents expressing sadness at the reports all over the social media alleging that Dr Femi killed his wife. After much persuasion, he said that it was not possible that Dr Thomas who is a consultant and has a brighter future will drag his wife upstairs and push her down.
“The young couple was an envy of other members of the compound because of the way they normally relate. Femi was always all over her. He loved and pampered her to the admiration of all.
“She was a pleasant person; I have never heard her voice or that of her husband. I wonder where people got the information about domestic violence. They should imagine why two consultants who have better years ahead of them will resort to violence or even think of killing another considering the repercussion.
“I am aware that Femi invested a lot on his wife to make her a consultant and no man after such investment will turn around and kill her. Nobody ever suspected that she was mentally unstable. We were shocked when we learnt that she jumped. It was after the incident that we learnt that she had attempted to kill herself severally. We blamed Dr Thomas for hiding such a sensitive thing. Such a thing is not what any individual should hide because of stigmatization,” he narrated.
On the possibility of domestic violence which could have led to death, the neighbour said that it is impossible. “Sometimes we will be joking with Dr Thomas on why he always likes to take his wife to Ikeja country club. He will tell you that he does not want to be distracted by any other woman. No one knew that he was doing that to cheer her up or help her out of depression,”
On what could have happened, the neighbour pointing towards the staircase said that it’s still unbelievable that she walked out of the house and climbed up the staircase. “This is the same staircase that she climbs sometimes as a form of exercise. Instead of going out for the regular jogging, she would climb the staircase severally. Sometimes she will carry her baby and climb the staircase severally but as a form of exercise. The end of the staircase leads to the roof top where we mounted our DSTV dishes. It is free for all. You can have a look. I learnt that that was where she jumped down from when everyone was fast asleep. It’s quite unfortunate but I strongly believe that Femi had nothing to do with it. Even her parents have confirmed that it is a case of suicide,” he said.
Earlier in the week, the Chairman, Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria, LUTH branch, Dr. Emeka Ogbolu, while speaking with journalists on the incident, described the deceased as a very hardworking consultant, who seemed indefatigable.
Ogbolu said that while on a condolence visit, the deceased mother in tears wondered why anyone will accuse his son in-law of killing her daughter. “She said she is a principal officer in a university and has some background in psychology and she knows the telltale signs of domestic violence. She visits often and would not have hesitated to forcefully drag her daughter out of the marriage had that been the case.”
Also earlier in the week, the Chief Medical Director, LUTH, Prof Chris Bode, reportedly appealed to members of the public to wait for the result of the Coroner’s inquest into the death of the late Consultant before jumping into conclusion.
According to a statement released to the media, the deceased was brought to the LUTH Accidents and Emergency Department following injuries sustained in tragic circumstances within her home. All efforts at resuscitating her failed and she was pronounced dead.
According to him, Dr Heista Idiodi-Thomas was loved by her colleagues, patients and all members of LUTH community who admired her dedication to duty, her gentle ever-smiling mien and humility.
[Reported By Vera Bassey]