Ksh677,000 hospital bill bars Ruth Matete from burying deceased Nigerian husband

Kenyan celebrity Ruth matete with her now deceased Nigerian husband, Blessed John. [Photo courtesy]

Gospel singer Ruth Matete has been held back from burying her Nigerian husband Blessed John Olakami Apewajoye by a Ksh677,000 outstanding medical bill at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).

Matete’s lawyer, Robert Odanga, told the Nation that the total bill stood at Ksh677,000 as of Friday last week.

Apewajoye was rushed to KNH in April this year after suffering severe burns at their Athi River home on March 30. He later died on April 11 and his body has remained at KNH morgue since then.

The deceased could not be buried immediately as investigations were going on regarding the incident. The Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) in collaboration with the Nigerian High Commission in Kenya were probing the circumstances of death for Apewajoye.

In June, the DCI wrote to KNH requesting for a waiver of the body storage charges explaining that there were ongoing investigations which led to delay in Apewajoye’s burial.

DCI also said that the Nigerian Commission was seeking consent from the deceased’s kin back in Nigeria to bury him back in Kenya as per Matete’s request.

“We hereby request that you consider waiving the body storage charges since the retention of the body was as a result of a request by the Nigerian High Commission to have time to consult the deceased’s brothers in Nigeria,” read the letter according to Daily Nation.

However, KNH turned down the request stating that it would not contravene policy on waivers of that particular amount.

At the time of reply, the Nigerian High Commission had given a nod to Matete to bury her husband after consulting her husband’s family in Nigeria.

Matete had earlier taken the Nigerian Commission to task demanding that it pays for her husband mortuary charges.

She said that his body was held for long yet the Commission had no compelling reason to hold the body for that long even after autopsy report came out.

Even as this happens, Matete is yet to know her fate as detectives from the homicide unit have the final say on the matter.

A postmortem conducted on his body by Chief Government pathologist Dr Johansen Oduor on May 13 revealed that Apewajoye died of mixed degree burns at 60 percent.

“He died because of burns which were mixed degree burns estimated at 60 percent. In burns, what kills are the complications that arise. In this case there was sepsis, multiple organs failure and all that,” explained Dr Oduor.

Odanga asked the DCI to give the status of the case to allow his client resume her normal life which has been disrupted and can no longer engage in income-generating activities like she used to before.

“At the moment everything is at a standstill, she cannot launch her album, teach at her music school or preach at her church with the dark cloud hanging over her name. The public perception is stacked against her,” her lawyer argued.