When he set out yesterday to the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) passport office in Ikoyi, Lagos State, it was in the hope of procuring the green booklet that would ensure his prospect for a sojourn outside the shores of the country, but painfully, the end came in a brutish manner to such an ambition when an applicant seeking the Nigerian international passport died yesterday.
The applicant had arrived at the passport office at about 7:00a.m. accompanied by his wife and they were asked to wait till 9:00a.m. before they would be attended to.
It was gathered that at about 10:00a.m. the man became restless and started complaining of severe heat and discomfort. He then requested to use the restroom.
An eyewitness who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said: “He was walking up and down complaining that he should be attended to as he and his wife arrived the passport office before other applicants the officers were attending to.
We told him that even though he came early, our official resumption time is 9:00a.m. but he would not listen.
Along the line, he said we should show him the toilet and we showed him.
“After about 20 minutes, his wife became worried that he has not come out from the toilet, but we calmed her down and our toilet attendants were asked to monitor the man.
After about 40 minutes, we knocked several times and he did not respond. We tried to open the door, but it was locked from the inside.
The mistake was that we should have forced the door open, but we were warned by our superior not to break the door until the police arrived the scene.
“The police later arrived and forced the door to the toilet open. What we saw was gory.
He had removed his clothes and he was sitting on the stool, but he was dead.
He died few minutes before we opened the door, maybe he would have survived if we had rushed him to the hospital,” the source said.
Another eyewitness said there was pandemonium as people scampered to safety as the dead body was brought out from the toilet.
The Passport Controller in charge of Ikoyi Passport Office, (PCO) Mani Yari, said: “Yes, it is the true. An applicant died in our toilet.
He came to our office with his wife. There was no queue, as he did not come to collect passport.
We attend to visitors as from 9:00a.m. and at the exact time, we started attending to the applicants.
Along the line, the deceased said he wanted to ease himself.
“It was after about 40 minutes that the wife started raising the alarm that her husband had not come back from the toilet.
We thought it was the normal panic from a woman.
But when we arrived the scene and he did not open the door, we then called the police who came and bust the door open and we saw the lifeless body.
The body has been deposited at a government hospital for autopsy,” he narrated.