Ruth Matete's husband died of sepsis, multiple organ failure: autopsy

Chief Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor addresses the media at the Kenyatta National Hospital mortuary after examining the body of musician Ruth Matete's husband on April 22, 2020. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Dr Oduor said John Olakanmi Apewajoye had complications including sepsis and multiple organ failure, following a reported gas cylinder accident in their house at Great Wall Estate in Athi Rive, Machakos County.
  • Meanwhile, Ruth Matete is not yet free to bury her husband as the DCI has been requested to ensure the body is held until the Nigerian government issues a directive allowing its release

Gospel musician Ruth Matete’s husband died from complications that resulted from the 60 per cent burns he suffered at their home on March 30, the chief government pathologist has said.

Dr Johansen Oduor led a team of four pathologists and senior homicide detectives in conducting the post-mortem at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) mortuary in Nairobi on Thursday afternoon.

Dr Oduor said John Olakanmi Apewajoye had complications including sepsis and multiple organ failure, following a reported gas cylinder accident in their house at Great Wall Estate in Athi Rive, Machakos County.

“He died because of burns, which were mixed degree burns estimated at 60 per cent. In burns, what kills are the complications that arise. In this case there was sepsis, multiple organ failure and all that [sic],” he explained.

He added that Apewajoye's body did not have any marks indicative of injuries.

“We checked and there was none."

The pathologists collected sample for use in toxicology tests.

The four of them represented Ms Matete, the government, Bellevue South Hospital and Mr Jessy Mc Jessiey, the Nigerian national who accused Ms Matete of having a hand in the death.

Homicide detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and Ms Matete’s lawyer Robert Adanga witnessed the examination that began at around 3pm and lasted a little over an hour.

BURIAL PERMIT

The singer is, however, not yet free to bury her husband.

In a response to a letter the DCI sent to the Nigerian embassy on Wednesday, requesting it to avail its own pathologist for the post-mortem, the Nigerian High Commission said it would rely on the chief government pathologist's report.

However, it requested the DCI to ensure Apewajoye's body is held until the Nigerian government issues a directive allowing its release.

“The High Commission wishes to state that, after the post mortem, the burial should be put on hold until it is in receipt of such a directive from the Nigerian government, while the mission awaits the conclusion of the investigations,” states the letter signed by Mr Mahmud Lawal, the commission’s Head of Chancery.

Consequently, the DCI on Thursday instructed the KNH not to release the body that has been at its morgue for nearly two weeks.

MATETE'S OPPOSITION

Ms Matete is opposed to the decision to hold her husband’s body.

Her lawyer said the move was unfair and that they would seek audience with the embassy so his client is allowed to conduct a funeral.

“We shall strongly communicate to the Nigerian embassy and strongly oppose the decision to hold the body at KNH. The embassy was duly informed to present a pathologist but it opted not to. It is therefore extremely unfair to withhold the body as my client needs to peacefully rest and mourn.”

“We urge every party concerned to objectively look at the facts of this case before judging Ruth. We are satisfied with how the homicide department has handled the investigation and we shall support them in everything they may need,” said Mr Adanga.

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