Estimated reading time: 14 minute(s)
Sunday Michael, a witness at the accident scene of late ex-Big Brother Naija (BBNaija) housemate, Patrick Fakoya, popularly known as Rico Swavey, on Thursday gave an account of what happened at the scene.
Rico Swavey died on Oct. 13 after being involved in a ghastly motor accident on Oct. 11.
Until his death, he was a singer, lawyer and actor, who was born in 1993.
Michael, a Uber driver, during a news briefing organised by late Rico Swavey’s family, said while trying to convey the deceased to a hospital after the accident, he never perceived any smell of alcohol on his body.
The witness said that while with a passenger in his car at about 12.00 a.m. along Sangotedo/Ajah Road, in Lagos, he suddenly saw a car run into a concrete road demarcation.
He noted that a huge sound likened to that of a dynamite was heard from the accident direction, which was scary.
”Nobody went close to rescue the victim as I beckoned on people around to help but nobody was willing to.
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‘’I went close to the scene and discovered that the car was locked, badly damaged and the engine split into two,” he said.
He said he had to break the car’s windscreen to gain access into the car when he discovered that Rico Swavey who was the only victim was already unconscious and bleeding from the nose.
“Looking at Rico Swavey, he looked exactly like my brother, I couldn’t leave him. So, I took it upon myself to take him to the hospital, he was not drunk because I did not smell alcohol on his body or mouth.
“Doren Hospital was the closest hospital to the accident scene, just five-minute drive, so I took him in my car to the place, it took over 2 hours before he was attended to and after being examined, a doctor said he needed instant surgery, demanding for some deposit before he could be treated.
“I took him to another nearby hospital, Evercare Hospital, where he was attended to after one hour.
“Meanwhile, all these while, nobody called Rico Swavey’s line until after arriving Evercare when one of his friends called, she later came to join me but at the sight of him, she collapsed.
“Evercare also demanded for some deposit but when they discovered that he was a celebrity, they decided to commence treatment on him, I know if Rico Swavey was given prompt medical care, he would have been alive now,” he said.
The deceased’s cousin, Mayo Dele, noted that the essence of the media briefing was to call the attention of the Lagos State Government and the Nigerian medical system to the truth surrounding late Rico Swavey’s death.
Dele said that the briefing was also to ensure necessary steps were taken by all concerned to guide against recurrence of similar case where individuals that need urgent medical care would be denied, due to financial problems, leading to untimely death.
He said human life should be prioritised regardless of what was at stake.
He expressed disappointment as none of the officials from Doren or Evercare Hospitals honoured the invitation for the briefing.
“The Lagos State Ministry of Health, Ministry of Justice and Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives were invited but never showed up.
“Evercare Hospital where late Swavey was eventually treated billed the family the sum of N4.2 million before treatment could commence.
“The family made deposit of N3.5 million for late Swavey’s treatment and upon his death, the hospital management disclosed that N1.9 million was used and that the balance will be refunded.
“The balance has not been remitted as promised,” Dele said.
He said the money generated from the public, meant to cater for Swavey’s medical bills was still with Paystack, an online payment platform.
According to him, Paystack notified the family of its plan to carry out some verification before the money is released.
He said when the family gains access to the money, it would be used to invest in immortalising late Rico Swavey.
“We the family of late Rico Swavey appreciate everyone who has sympathised with us at this trying time.
“We are planning to establish a formidable foundation in honour of late Swavey, it will be channelled toward solving a particular problem, it will be something of value to keep Swavey’s name alive.
“We had over 400 people donate on that platform, we really appreciate everyone for the kind gesture,” he said.
Leroy Fakoya, late Rico Swavey’s elder brother, advised the state government that in a bid to demarcate lanes on the highway, plastic and reflective materials should be used instead of concrete.
Fakoya, who was sober over the death of his younger brother, said that Rico Swavey died due to negligence of the medical team at Evercare and Doren Hospitals.
“If Swavey had got treatment early enough, he would probably still be alive now, money should not be prioritised over human life.
“They only started treating him when they discovered he was a celebrity, what if he is an ordinary fellow who is not a public figure, we need to change this narrative,” he said.
Michael Adigun, late Rico Swavey’s personal assistant, called on medical personnel generally to ensure that individuals who need medical attention are attended to promptly.
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