The President of the Association of Industrial Security Operators of Nigeria (AISSON), Dr. Ona Ekhomu, criticized the presidential panel's claim about the mysterious deaths in Kano state that Covid-19 was responsible for the deaths.
He said the panel was wrong in its conclusion because the methods used to determine the cause of death (COD) were not in line with the methodology for forensic pathology.
Reacting to the preliminary report from the presidential panel led by Dr. Nasiru Sani Gwarzo in a press release released yesterday, Ekhomu said the panel should have performed conventional autopsies on the bodies to determine the cause of the deaths.
He said that "so-called verbal autopsies are not scientific, have no validity, are not reliable and are certainly not reproducible".
Ekhomu said that counting the victims' ages was equivalent to mere profiles and a class characteristic that, according to him, would not explain individual deaths. According to him, the panel report blaming the deaths by COVID-19 is "fatally defective, has not reached the threshold of forensic pathology and should not have come to such a heavy conclusion".
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He asked the panel to suspend its final report, while a team of forensic pathologists should be sent to conduct normal forensic examinations on deceased people.
“Your internal organs must be examined. Toxicology tests for toxins should also be performed, along with other death investigation protocols, ”he said.
He said that the scientific method of forensic pathology should not have been changed simply because the deaths occurred in Kano.
With my knowledge of forensic science, I can assume that there is an epidemic (not COVID-19) devastating communities in Kano.
"It is the responsibility of the federal government to send medical detectives to Kano, accompanied by crack police detectives to solve the mystery," he said.
According to Ekhomu, the possible causes of the mysterious deaths in Kano include Lassa fever, tuberculosis, kidney dysfunction epidemic, Ebola fever, adulterated heavy drugs and some unknown pathogens, among others.
He said: “The deaths may have stemmed from a breach in the food supply chain or even from malevolent drug adulteration.
"The right thing to do is perform a medical examination of human remains to determine the exact cause of death (COD), while police detectives find out whether the deaths were due to natural causes or by foul play."