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‘Certified dead’ alive: Hospitals where N10,000 fetches death certificate for the living

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With the payment of N10, 000, sixty-six year-old Esther Ojo (purportedly a living person) who is diabetic and hypertensive, was declared dead.

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The irony of it was that Ojo’s body was not seen by the doctor whose signature and name was scribbled at the bottom of a death certificate which our correspondent went undercover to procure.

Our correspondent whose mission was to expose the cartel of death certificate merchants and poor process associated with the issuance of such certificates in hospitals presented Ojo as her relative who passed away last week.

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Three men sat discussing at the entrance of a popular general hospital in the Surulere area of Lagos State on September 7, 2022 as our correspondent approached the facility. Two of them were clad in the uniform of the hospital’s guards while the third person was presumed to be their friend based on his energetic involvement in the discussion.

Our correspondent spoke to one of the guards, requesting a direction to the office in charge of issuing death certificates.

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The man stood up, asked our correspondent to wait for a few minutes, walked a few metres and returned with an average height, dark-skinned man who wore a blue shirt.

The newcomer led our correspondent to a bench placed outside a roofed shed near a tree on the hospital premises. The man, later identified only as Wale, made a phone call before asking our correspondent, “What do you want to use it for?” The question exposed Wale as someone who’s not new to the business.

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The answer to his question generated more questions such as where the corpse was and what led to the death.

He became calm when told that the presumed relative died at home and the certificate was needed to transport the corpse to her hometown in Oyo State for burial.

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Feigning helplessness and sadness over the alleged loss, our correspondent requested the financial cost for the process.

Wale responded, “It is N10,000. If you want to pay it now, I will get the details. What I will need is the person’s full name. You know the full name of the person, right? So it is N10,000.” He added that the document would be issued the same day.

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He then requested our correspondent to come along with him to a different location he described as “more comfortable.”

The location was outside the hospital; a gated relaxation spot a few meters from the hospital.

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Properly placing two of the chairs to face a table, Wale sat on one and requested our correspondent to sit beside him.

He asked for a paper and pen to write the details of the “dead person” and when told there was neither pen nor a paper, he stood up to get both at a nearby store.

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Returning with a piece of paper, he reiterated that the fee was N10,000 and the document would be available in a few minutes.

After the required details were provided and the fee paid, Wale hurriedly tucked both money and paper in his pocket and walked briskly to an undisclosed location on the hospital premises.

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Seven minutes later, Wale returned with a death certificate properly filled in blue ink, with a doctor’s name and stamp of the General Hospital, Lagos State.

As he handed over the document to our correspondent, he advised that it should be concealed from prying eyes.

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Asked if the document was genuine and valid for official dealings, he asserted, “Yes na.’’

Within 30 minutes, a death certificate was issued for Esther Ojo; a pseudonym generated for a supposed living being presented as dead to expose activities of death certificate merchants.

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In the second quarter, the National Pension Commission reported that only 10,541 firms complied with the statutory laws in pension and insurance covers.

As a result, the organisations remitted N59.39bn into the Retirement Savings Accounts of employees.

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PenComm further stated that in March, the total assets of the Contributory Pension Scheme stood at N13.88tn.

The PUNCH however reported in August that PenComm vowed to go tough on retirees, workers and relatives who fake their deaths and that of their loved ones to obtain the death benefit payment.

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The commission stated that apart from other documents needed for verification, it would begin to ask banks to permanently close the account of persons said to be deceased.

The Head, Benefits and Insurance Department, PenCom, Obiora Ibeziako, said, “Nigerians have been dying and resurrecting. If you send us a notification that you are dead, we will make sure that your bank blocks your account also.

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“We have seen people fake their own deaths; we have seen spouses fake the deaths of their partners when the PFAs start the due process.

In fact, in a particular case, they were processing a man’s death benefit and he walked in and everybody picked up. The wife had actually procured an obituary announcement, everything that required to be done without the man knowing.”

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He also cited the case of a man who faked his death and responded in the affirmative that he arranged his death so he could get the death benefit package his next of kin or relative was supposed to receive.

PenCom further stated that it had received complaints from retirees who stated that their pension fund was being paid into the account of their next-of kin or beneficiaries while they were still alive.

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In 2018, PenCom had also stated that some fraudulent persons, after providing fake documents such as death certificates, collected the pension benefits of living workers.

Also, on July 1, Bloomberg reported that gangs were fake-killing people in India for insurance payouts.

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In the report, a life insurance investigator visited the house of a lady with a payout claim, passport photo and a death certificate. Interestingly, the documents had the details of the lady he met at the door. Asked if she knew the name on the death certificate, she responded, “I am Amina. I am, in fact, alive.”

Apart from the easy ways vital documents can be obtained in Nigeria without a painstaking process, the cartels involved in such dubious activities also ensure forgery of almost everything from bank statements, certificates to sundry documents.

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After leaving the general hospital, our correspondent headed to a federal hospital tucked in the Mushin area of Lagos State. Our correspondent joined the sea of visitors who thronged the hospital.

After passing through several turns and bends on the road, the path led to a staff and cooperative club of the institution. Further down the road before a T junction is a spot dubbed, Oxygen.

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On the edge of what appeared like a generator house sat two men dressed in a green leaf patterned native wear and his partner who wore a white T-shirt and black denim.

The first man responded to our correspondent’s greetings and inquiry on where to get a death certificate.

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He said, “What do you need it for? Some people request the document to claim money from the bank and to get a pension.” His response also indicated he was not a newbie in the illegal trade.

He added, “The only way to get that document in this hospital is if the person died here. A doctor will be the one to confirm if the person is dead and then issue the certificate.”

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After his explanations, he, however, asked our correspondent to wait while he made a phone call to someone. His intervention soothed our correspondent’s skin like balmy wind from the seaside despite the scorching sun’s aggression.

In Yoruba, he said to an unnamed person on the phone, “Someone is here who needs to get a death certificate. They said the person died at home and needs it for burial.”

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He assured that the person to assist in facilitating the document was a few metres away and would join us shortly.

During the waiting time, our correspondent, still acting as a perplexed relative, inquired from him if the document would be tenable in the bank to process the contrived deceased’s pension. His response was comforting.

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After about 20 minutes, a dark-skinned man drove into the location in a white coloured hearse. The man immediately pointed at the car and told our correspondent to talk to him.

Our correspondent was asked by the man later identified only as Saheed, to sit in the passenger seat and asked the same question Wale asked our correspondent.

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“It is N10,000. You’ll write down the details of the person. How old was she? What was the cause of the death? What time did she die?,’’ he asked.

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“I Admire Your Eloquence, Calmness,” Emir Of Kano To Obi

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By Tai Agbo

The Emir of Kano Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero has declared that he admired the eloquence, calmness, humility of the standard bearer of the Labour Party, (LP) Mr Gregory Peter Obi.

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The Monarch stated these when the presidential candidate paid him a courtesy visit in his palace on Friday.

Said he “Iadmire your eloquence, calmness, humility, respect for culture, and fear of God.”

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A statement by the spokesman of the Thirdforce Dr Yunusa iTanko added that Obi visited the revered monarch as he arrived Kano to sympathize with the Kano Flood Victims as well as Beirut Road Collapsed Building.

The Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party the statement further stressed used the occasion of the visit to brief the Emir of his desire to serve Nigeria as the next president come 2023.

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The former Anambra State Governor, who said he had been exposed to various areas of governance for years, noted that he was experienced enough to lead Nigeria.

“Though l am in the state for sympathy visit, l deem it appropriate to make the Palace my first point of call to pay you Royal Homeage and to formally infor.m of my intention to run for president in the forthcoming election.”

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Mr Peter Obi furthet explained that he was also in the Palace to sympathize with him as a Royal Father for the twinntragedy that befell the state penultimate weeks.

The Emir who nited that the country was blessed with abundant resources but wondered why there were suffering, poverty and crimes, said he believed Obi was eminently qualified for the position as he did it as Anambra State Governor wished wished Peter Obi well in the pursuit of his ambition.

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Peter Obi was in company of Kano State Gubernatorial Candidate of Labour Party Engineer Bashir Ishaq Bashir, his running mate Dr. Datti Yusuf Baba Ahmed , Dr Yunusa Tanko and State Chairman of Labour Party Mall Raji in his entourage.

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2023: Obi Visits Emir of Kano, restated his Desire to Lead Nigeria+photos

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The Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party Mr. Peter Gregory Obi on Friday visited the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero where he reiterated his desire to serve Nigeria.

Obi visited the revered monarch as he arrives Kano to sympathize with the Kano Flood Victims as well as Beirut Road Collapsed Building.

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The former Anambra State Governor, who said he has been exposed to various areas of governance for years, noted that he is experienced to lead Nigeria.


While he told the Emir he is in the state for sympathy visit, Obi said he deemed it appropriate to make the Palace his first point of call.

The visit to the palace, Peter Obi explained, is to pay Royal Homage to the revered Emir and also to formally inform him of his intention to run for president in the coming election and also to sympathize with him as a Royal Father for the twinntragedy that befalled the state penultimate weeks.

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On his part, the Emir of Kano expressed his happiness for the visit and said he admires Peter Obi’s eloquence, calmness, humility, respect for culture, and fear of God. He also thanked him for having respect for culture.


The Emir who said the country is blessed with resources but wondered why there’s suffering and poverty and crime, said he believed Obi is eminently qualified for the position as he did it as Anambra State Governor where he wished Peter Obi well in the pursuit of his ambition.

Peter Obi was in company of Kano State Gubernatorial Candidate of Labour Party Engr. Bashir Ishaq Bashir, his running mate Dr. Datti Yusuf Baba Ahmed , Dr Yunusa Tanko and State Chairman of Labour Mall Raji in his entourage.

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2023: Newly wed couple join Obidients in Abuja one million man march+video

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Newly wedded couple on Saturday join the Obidients one million man march in Abuja trending video emerges online.

Naijablitznews.com reports no one seems to be left out as depicted in this video showing the newly married couple marching for LP presidential candidate Peter Obi.

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Watch video below:

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