From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
If only 27-year-old nurse, Janet Serki, knew that danger was lurking in the shadows, waiting at her duty post that fateful day, she most likely would have taken permission to stay away from work that day.
But not being prescient, she had joyfully resumed work and carried out her duty diligently until it was time to close in the evening. Then the unthinkable happened.
Serki, a nurse with Primary Health Centre (PHC), Yelwata, Guma Local Government Area of Benue State, was on June 30, 2021, allegedly stabbed by one Angela Uker, a student nurse, who used to visit the clinic where Janet worked once in a while to participate in the monthly immunisation programme.
The mother of three claimed that she had concluded immunisation that day and had gone to pick her phone where she had plugged it so that she could close for the day, when, suddenly, she felt somebody hold her hair from behind and before she could turn to know who it was, she felt some stabbing pains in her body and she immediately passed out.
She later woke up at the hospital after several hours only to be told about what Uker had done to her.
Serki, who has been lying critically ill at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH), Makurdi, has been referred to the National Hospital, Abuja, due to the severity of the injuries she sustained from the attack.
According to her referral letter, issued on July 29, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed features of post-traumatic cervical cord transaction at C6 vertebrae.
Serki said: “It was on June 30, around 7pm, I went to pick my phone where I had plugged it to boost the battery. While I was waiting, I felt someone hold me by my hair at the back. The next thing I felt I was stabs. I lost consciousness and woke up in the hospital.
“I had, on that fateful day, done with immunisation and was completing the necessary forms when I got up to pick my phone where I was charging it and to also get snacks, when the incident occured.
“I was told that it’s a woman that did it. Her name is Angela Uker, student nurse from Kadarko.”
Asked if she had any squabble with her attacker in the past, Serki claimed that they were not even close not to talk of her having any known misunderstanding with her at all.
Serki further said that she did not know the reason for the attack as, according to her, apart from when she and Uker participated in last year’s Yellow Fever Immunisation programme, they had never met.
“For the past one month that I have been on admission at the hospital, I’ve not known sleep. I am in severe pains due to my bones. My legs are lifeless,” she added.
It was observed that Serki was stabbed in three different places, including the posterior border of her left sternocleidomastoid muscle and in two places on her forearm.
Serki told Daily Sun that although the matter was reported to the police, her attacker escaped before the police could get to her house.
“Her husband, Thaddeus Uker, was apprehended by the police but he was later released to go and produce his wife. I heard that Thaddeus never returned neither has his wife been produced before the police,” Serki said.
At it stands now, Janet cannot afford to consult a neurosurgeon at the National Hospital, given the estimated bill of N5 million she needs to get medical attention.
Serki’s elder sister, Judith Gbamkuran, is, therefore, appealing to the Benue State government and well-meaning individuals to come to the aid of her sister to enable her access medical care at the National Hospital.
Efforts to get Angel’s side of the story failed as she was said to have disappeared after commiting the crime. Her husband, Thaddeus, could also not be reached at the time of filing this report.
When contacted, the police public relations officer in the state, DSP Catherine Anene, confirmed the report, saying the suspect reportedly stabbed the victim on the allegation that she was having a romantic affair with her husband.
Anene noted that the police were already on the trail of the suspect to bring her to justice as soon as possible.
Said Anene: “The husband of the suspect sat out at a relaxation point one evening with the victim and the wife came and stabbed her, claiming that she was her husband’s concubine. On arrival, the police met the husband and the victim but the suspect ran away.
“Having heard the fact of the case, the police released the husband on bail to assist in looking for the suspect. The husband is still in contact with the police. The husband in this case cannot be considered a suspect even though he is a party to the case.”