This Should Not Have Happened: If The Police Had Cared Enough, David Ntekim-Rex Would Have Survived

January 22, 2021

When Kelvin Eghagha heard about the death of David Ntekim-Rex on Sunday, 17th of January, two days after it happened, he remembers feeling upset because he thought his older brother, who broke the news to him, was making a tasteless joke.  “But he seemed serious about it, so I asked him how he could confirm this and he told me that a neighbor close to David’s house had told him.”

Kelvin’s parents were colleagues and close family friends with David’s mother, Dr. Yewande Ntekim-Rex, a senior lecturer at the English department, University of Lagos. Kelvin had known David since he was a child and had come to see him and his other two brothers as his own siblings, and their mother, Dr. Yewande as his aunt.

Later that day, Kelvin drove his parents to David’s house where he learned more about David’s death. As he recounted the story he was told over Zoom, his voice heavy and disappointed, the timelines and scenarios that make up this story pointed to how little regard authorities have for a Nigerian life. 

While trying to keep a firm composure, Dr. Yewande was the one who explained how she had been worried that David hadn’t returned home at around 8 p.m., which was when he usually came home. She then called on family relatives to help her look around the neighborhood for David, a search that would end when she got to the side of the street where David’s body lay, bloody and barely conscious. 

The Robbery:

David Ntekim-Rex suffered a robbery attack on a Friday night, the 15th of January in Jibowu, a street within close range of Yaba, in Lagos, Nigeria. He was on his way home from work when some robbers riding past on a bike tried to steal his phone and when they couldn’t, they shot him in the face. Eye-witnesses at the scene were afraid of taking his body to the hospital to avoid being possibly framed for his shooting if stopped by the police. But they had to do something, so they called the police.

By the time his mother would get to the scene, the police had arrived and were taking pictures, collecting evidence. “Aunty Yewande explained that when she held David’s body in her arms, she could still feel his pulse, but the police would not let her take him to the hospital for treatment.” This was around 8 pm and between that time and when the police would finally let them go at 10 pm, they had tried to take possession of David’s bag containing his laptop. They had insisted, as Kelvin was told, to keep the laptop without explaining why.

The Chase To Save David’s Life:

When the police agreed to let David be taken to the hospital at 10 pm, his pulse had already begun to dull. “When they got to the Military Hospital, Yaba, she said the gates were locked. She and the relatives with her kept trying to get the attention of the nurses who they could see behind the gate, but they made no move to help. After a while a matron at the hospital stepped out to see what was going on, she checked for a pulse and confirmed that the pulse had grown significantly weak. The doctor that would later step in only felt David’s pulse briefly and then told them to take him away,” says Kelvin. But that would not be the only time David would be rejected care. Kelvin was told that the police had insisted on David’s family driving with them to a police station at Sabo, Yaba where they were delayed even further. “Aunty Yewande told me that when they got there, the police took a long time getting the statement ready. For one, the senior officer that was meant to write the report was inebriated and it took him up to an hour to write the report because he was staggering and unconscious. After the statement had been put together, the police began to inquire about the laptop again. It wasn’t clear what their aim was, but they weren’t allowed to leave until 12:30.” The police’s insistence on a statement was especially suspicious as the law mandating a police statement before hospitals can treat gunshot wounds was pretty scrapped in 2019.

According to what was relayed to Kelvin, the family couldn’t get any medical help at LUTH’s emergency ward. “The doctor they finally got to speak with asked aunty Yewande if David’s body was still warm, and she confirmed that it was. He asked her if he still had a pulse and that if it was low or if he didn’t at all that there was nothing he could do. He did not come out from behind the door where he spoke to them, he didn’t check David’s body, he just shut the door on them and walked away.”

David Ntekim-Rex

What The Police Had To Say:

In a statement made to Punch Newspaper, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi alleged that David had passed away by the time they got to the scene of the crime. He said, “On January 15, 2021, we were informed around 11.20 pm. On getting to the scene, police men met his lifeless body, but relations insisted that he was not dead. So, police took him to Military Hospital, Yaba but the hospital said they could not treat him and then referred him to LUTH.

“He was accepted at LUTH and he was confirmed dead. The family returned to the police to get extracts at the station for a mortuary. So, the allegation of the police abandoning him is not true.”

David wasn’t just a prodigious tech talent, beating 17,000 other participants in the 2018 Master the Mainframe competition to emerge as that year’s regional co-winner, or collecting outstanding awards for his computer skills since 2014. He was also a child who was fiercely loved by his mother, “she was the one who plaited the braids he had on his head and when she talked about him, you would often see her eyes sparkle with pride.” Kevin tells Zikoko.

“He was a quiet person and being very gifted. If you’d met him, he most likely won’t say much to you, but when you leave, he’d describe you so well,” a friend Temitope Oladejo tells Zikoko. Many of David’s friends also share that sentiment and it is without a doubt that he meant a great deal to the people he left behind. At this time, not much is known about who will be held accountable for denying David the early treatment that might have kept him alive today, but one thing continues to be apparent about the current systems available in Nigeria, and it is clear that they have been designed in one way or another to end lives and snuff out dreams.

“This incident is really making hit accelerate on my Japa plans. David’s family is going through unbelievable pain right now. They need all the support they can get. There were plans for David to move out of the country this year, his mum was certain that he still had some time, that he would be safe enough to make it out of here alive. He had so much promise, now it’s all gone.”

You should read this too: 5 Nigerians Talk About Getting Their NIN

Nelson

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

October 12, 2020

In the past week, Nigeria has experienced it’s biggest protest since 1993. The #EndSARS protest is a peaceful but powerful movement against police brutality in Nigeria, both generally, and specifically by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigerian Police. Charged with the responsibility of fighting crime and given the powers to prosecute offenders, SARS has […]

john boyega racist tweet george floyd
May 28, 2020

So far, every month in 2020 has given us its version of an uppercut to the jugular. We’ve lost Kobe and Gigi, a global pandemic broke out, we’ve had to stay isolated, murder hornets came back (then left?) and for May’s champion – repeated vile and racist attacks against black people in the US. John […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

March 3, 2021

First, we thought, if Nigerian musicians had side hustles, what would they do? Now, we’re asking, “if Bible characters had side hustles, what would they do?” Here’s what we have: 1. Moses- Fitness trainer You can’t go far in the book of Exodus without seeing that Oga Moses has climbed mountain again. He first led […]

March 3, 2021

The dating scene Is a messy place and everyone has their spec. If you haven’t figured out what works for you, we’ve been generous enough to make a list. 1. People that have money  Money makes romance sweeter, to be honest. People will probably call you a gold-digger, but is it their gold you are […]

Recommended Quizzes

November 20, 2019

Last month, we thoughtfully made a quiz telling you guys exactly when you’ll marry, but some of you claimed that your spouse was nowhere to be found. Well, now we’ve created one that’ll tell you exactly who you’ll be dragging down that aisle. Take and start planning that wedding: 11 Quizzes For Nigerians Who Are […]

November 11, 2019

Today, we are going to be using your taste in music to determine how good you actually are in bed. All you need to do is create the ultimate Nigerian hit — from the lead artist to the producer — and we’ll tell you if all your partners leave satisfied, or if you are just […]

October 10, 2019

2019 is certainly Burna Boy’s year, but, if we are being honest, so was 2018. Since his transcendent mixtape, Outside, the afro-fusion star has refused to get his foot of our necks — dropping a string of fantastic singles and then capping it all off with his career-best album, African Giant.  So, in a bid […]

March 24, 2020

While we know that a lot of the best Nigerian artists deservedly have fans across generations, that won’t stop us from attempting to guess how old you are based on your taste in Nigerian music. So, take this quiz to see if we got it right:

January 2, 2020

Do you have even a single romantic bone in your body? Well, if you’re not sure about just how sweet and thoughtful you can be to someone you love, that’s what this quiz is here to answer. 11 Quizzes For Nigerians Who Are Ready To Marry  Are you ready to marry? Take these quizzes.

November 14, 2019

The fourth season of Big Brother Naija came to an end over a month ago, but the conversation surrounding the housemates is far from over. So, in a bid to keep the fire burning, we decided to create a quiz that tells you which famous member of the ‘Pepper Dem’ gang is your soulmate. Take […]

More from Citizen

February 19, 2021

This Abroad Life will leave you speechless. Today’s subject woke up one day and had to suddenly move to the USA. She talks about surviving on almost nothing, avoiding an arranged marriage, becoming a citizen and family drama. Let’s start from the beginning. When did you move to the USA? I moved here in 2009 […]

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X