40 year old Moshood Ismail Owolabi was reported to have slumped and died on Sunday at a viewing centre located at Lanlepe compound, Oke-Sokori in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital during the quarter final match of the African Cup of Nation between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire.
Owolabi, an Engineer with Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Federal Ministry of Works in Abeokuta was said to have been immediately rushed to a nearby clinic, Success Medical Clinic where he was given a first aid before being referred to another hospital (First Alpha).
He was said to have died on the way to First Alpha hospital also in Abeokuta.
Confirming his death the medical Director of the Clinic, Sulaiman Kolawole told Vanguard that Owolabi was already dead before he was brought to the clinic and that all effort to rescue him hit the rock.
While explaining the cause of his death, the Medical Director told our correspondent that the incident was as a result of excessive intake of carbondioxide which he said was persistent for a longer period of time before resulting to what he called anoxia.
“Immediately the boy was brought, he was brought dead, from what I learnt, I was told by a close friend that he had a fatal accident about two months ago and he was treated and managed.
“It supposed to be an heart attack, because the way I saw him, he looked weak, he doesn’t look agile and healthy, he looked like some who has been sick for a very long period of time, he looked like someone who is managing his life and now facing a lot of crowd with shortage of oxygen in that area, we call it anoxia, excessive intake of carbondioxide persistently for a longer period of time but it was late before he was brought here,” he said.
When Vanguard visited the viewing centre Monday, it was observed that, the ramshackle wooden place had a very small window from where ventilation only enters and the place was said to be containing about hundred football fans.
An eye witness told Vanguard that late Owolabi who was married with two children couldn’t control himself when Victor Moses missed a very good chance resulting in his collapse.
A neighbour of the deceased who was also at the viewing center when the incident happened, Taiwo Adebayo narrated that it was like a cardiac arrest adding that he started foaming when he fell on ground.
Adebayo disagreed with the Medial Director of Success Medical Clinic saying that Owolabi was immediately rescued and taken to the clinic alive. He added that the Doctor was not available on getting to the hospital.
He said the deceased later died on the way to another hospital where he was referred to.
“We were together when the match started, when Moses played a shot on target and it was deflected off by another opposing player, it was that time that he fell on someone’s laps as is if he suffered from cardiac arrest and he started foaming.
“I grabbed him immediately and rushed him to the hospital when we got to success hospital, the Doctor was not available and the nurses tried giving him first aid when the doctor was contacted, then he was still breathing.
“When the doctor came, he checked him and immediately referred him to another hospital (First Alpha), on the way going, the gear of the vehicle got damaged and we secured a taxi after some minutes.
“When we got the hospital, the Doctor confirmed him dead. We went to his father at Kugba area in Abeokuta and the man gave a go ahead for his burial,” he narrated.
Adebayo described Owolabi as a very jovial person who, according to him, will always be noticed where ever he is because of his attitude to people.
Owolabi’s widow, Mrs Tawakalitu Temilola Ismail was still in shock when our correspondent visited her at the family’s flat in Abeokuta.
She described the incident as a dream adding that her late husband was busy wandering around the area with a close friend for hours before the mach later started.
She hinted that he later husband left behind aged parents who are in their 80s.
“He was involved in an accident about two months ago, the accident was fatal and he survived it, but this incident was like a dream but we give thanks to Almighty Allah,” she hinted in a very low voice.