Gyang Bere, Jos
The Plateau State Police Command is at the crossroads as it is trying to ascertain who is the true mother of a newborn female baby. One of the nursing mothers was delivered of her baby at the Plateau Specialist Hospital, Jos, but three days after her baby was stolen by another woman who pretended to be a doctor working in the hospital.
When the case was reported to the police, operatives arrested another woman, Leritshimwa Diyal at the Bingham University Teaching Hospital, Jos, with a baby suspected to be that of Mrs Chukwuebuka, but Mrs Diyal is insisting that the baby is hers, claiming that she delivered her own baby in the kidnappers’ den.
The ordeal of Mrs Chukwuebuka
The joy of 30-year-old Mrs Mary Chukwuebuka after marriage was to conceive and give birth to her own baby. This joy was fulfilled on Tuesday, May 28, this year, when she gave birth to a baby girl at the Plateau Specialist Hospital Jos, a government-owned facility. Her baby was named Gift.
But the gift of Mrs Chukwuebuka soon disappeared. Her travails started when she arrived the hospital on Monday, May 27 for antenatal. She was examined and booked immediately for delivery by the doctor on duty, but she requested to be given an opportunity to go back home to pick her things for the delivery.
When she returned to the hospital, Mrs Chukwuebuka was induced for several hours before she could give birth by herself, which made her to go through a lot of pains. In fact, she was between life and death as she was said to have lost a lot of blood during birth.
To compound her situation, her husband couldn’t afford to pay for the blood pack for transfusion. She, therefore, requested one of her relations to come and donate blood to her, but when he was tested by the doctors her hope was dashed as the blood group was not the same. She quickly called her mother and told her that she was between life and death in the hospital for lack of blood.
The old woman moved out to source money, but returned to the hospital disappointed when nothing was found. A nurse in the hospital noticed that the situation was getting out of hand and brought blood from the store, which was used for the transfusion for three days.
The doctors had wanted to continue with the transfusion treatment, but Mrs Chukwuebuka requested that it be stopped due to the financial limitation of her husband who is a technician.
Joy turned sour
On Friday May 31, the joy of Mrs Chukwuebuka turned to a nightmare, when a woman who disguised herself as a medical doctor came to the maternity ward at about 6:19p.m and requested to pick her baby to conduct a blood sample test on her.
The lady, who was dressed in a laboratory coat and hanging a stethoscope around her neck insisted that the baby was recommended for some medical tests and that her blood sample was needed, but Mrs Chukwuebuka told her that another doctor had just finished examining the baby and had satisfied her healthy.
But the “fake doctor” insisted on taking the baby to the children’s ward to get her blood sample. So, after heated argument, Mrs Chukwuebuka bowed to her pressure on account that she was a medical personnel, but insisted that her mother must go with her to the children’s ward.
The lady picked the baby at about 6:30p.m and moved to the children’s ward together with Mrs Chukwuebuka’s mother, but when they got to a point, the lady told the old woman to go back that when they finish, she would be called to come and take the baby and the mother returned to the maternity ward to meet Mrs Chukwuebuka.
They, waited for about 20 minutes, when they heard the cry of the baby, but believed that they were taking the blood sample. But suddenly, the whole place became quiet and it was getting dark, making Mrs Chukwuebuka to start complaining that the doctor had taken away the baby and stayed with her for about one hour.
At that point, one of the patients who was returning from the children’s ward came in and she asked her if she saw her baby at ward, but she said no, adding that the bed was empty.
This made Mrs Chukwuebuka to become afraid as she quickly stood up, dashed to the children’s ward and saw nobody. She, therefore, raised the alarm and informed the Chief Nursing Officer. They all went round the hospital that night, but couldn’t find the baby and the lady. Immediately the matter was reported to the hospital management, they called in the police that night and investigation commenced.
Recalling what happened, Mrs Chukwuebuka said: “After she took the baby away, I heard the cry of my baby and I told my mother that they have been taking the blood up to an hour now, then a patient that I was together with was coming from the children’s ward and I asked her if she saw my baby in the ward and she said that she didn’t see the baby, that there was an empty bed there.
“Immediately, I stood up and went there, but there was no child and the lady was not there, I came back and reported immediately to the nurses and they started searching. The nurses searched and didn’t see the baby and the woman, I felt like dying at that time, I was not myself again.”
According to her, they called the police and reported the matter to them just as she called her husband so that they could go to the police station to give statement, which the hospital management objected to.
“The hospital management and the police went to the station and we waited for them in the hospital and the police came that night and took my statement.
“On Saturday morning they went to the hospital and I didn’t go with them. Since then, the hospital has stopped my treatment and I have been in the hospital doing nothing, nobody is attending to me.
“I heard rumour that there was a lady that was caught and that she claimed she was kidnapped and she was pregnant and gave birth at the kidnappers’ den and that they came back with the baby, that is the rumour I have been hearing.
“The hospital management has not told me anything, and I called the DPO and asked him how far they have gone and he said they are still investigating the matter; and the hospital is not telling me anything, they left me blank, nobody is telling me anything
“Anytime I try to talk, the hospital will be telling me that they are on the matter. It was Tuesday, June 11, that a doctor took me round the hospital to find out if I can see a particular face that took my baby away, we went round and I didn’t see the woman.
“The doctor said that the nurses should go and check my bill so that I can be discharged, since then nobody has said anything, I have been in the hospital, crying throughout the night doing nothing,” she narrated in pain.
The plight of Mrs Chukwuebuka gets worse when she sees other pregnant women go into the labour room and come out with their babies.
According to her, someone came to her in the hospital after the incident occurred and showed her a picture of a woman in a phone and asked her if that was the woman that took the baby away from her and she acknowledged that it was the baby, but said that since then she has not seen the man again.
Her husband, Nwagod Chukwuebuka insisted that he needs nothing than her newborn daughter from the hospital, insisting that the management of the hospital should provide her daughter who was in their custody.
“I am seriously disturbed by this situation, I can no longer work again, all I need now from the hospital is to provide my baby and discharge my wife to go back home.
“I cannot sit down and watch my wife crying to death in pains, since this incident happened, my wife and I have not eaten, we cannot think of anything again apart from the baby, this is our joy, why will the hospital allow somebody to rob us of our joy,” he lamented.
Mr Chukwuebuka, a resident of Zaramaganda in Jos South Local Government Area is also suffering from an eye defect. He had lost his sight in one eye in 2001 during a domestic accident.
Since then, life has not been easy with Chukwuebuka who hails from Enugu State. He, however, got relief when he got married in September 2018, but his joy in the marriage was dashed when his baby got missing in the hospital three days after delivery.
The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Plateau Specialist Hospital, Dr Philemon Golwa said that the hospital management had contacted the police immediately after they were informed of the incident with a view to tracking the suspect.
The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Matthias Tyopev said that the police have commenced investigation into the matter in order to apprehend the suspect.
Police arrest woman in another hospital
Indeed, on Friday, the police said that they have detained one Mrs Leritshimwa Diyal of Zawang in Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State for questioning in connection with the missing Mrs Chukwuebuka baby that was allegedly stolen at Plateau Specialist hospital Jos.
DSP Tyopev in a statement disclosed that the woman in the police custody claimed that she was pregnant when she was kidnapped and later gave birth to a baby girl at the kidnapper’s camp on May 31, due to pressure.
He noted that a case of child theft was reported to the Plateau State Police Command on May 31, by the Chief Security Officer of Plateau State Specialist Hospital, Jos, Mr Nanpan Gumut.
Tyopev said that on receiving the complaint, the police mobilised to the scene of the crime and met the mother of the missing baby, Mrs Chukwuebuka.
The woman who claimed to have given birth at kidnapper’s den
The police said: “While investigation was ongoing, the police got an intelligence that a woman by name Leritshimwa Diyal ‘f’ of Zawan in Jos South LGA who claimed to have given birth on the same 31/05/19 while in the kidnappers camp brought a female child to Bingham University Teaching Hospital, Jos for medical examination.”
The police spokesman said that they immediately wrote to the hospital for it to examine her as to whether she gave birth naturally within the period she so claimed.
He said that the police also wrote to the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) on June 3, where she claimed she attended antenatal care so as to confirm her claim or otherwise. He said that the Police Command is still waiting for the reply from the above named hospitals to further their investigation. Sources in the hospital informed that the nurses who were on duty on that day at the Plateau State Specialist Hospital, the suspected woman, and a nurse who was in charged of the alleged baby at Bingham University Teaching Hospital, Jos have been arrested and detained by the police for questioning.
It was learnt that the Chief Medical Director (CMD) was released to attend to some urgent medical issues at the hospital based on self-recognition, but is expected back to the hospital for further questioning.
The source added that several tests have been conducted to ascertain whether the child claimed by Leritshimwa actually belongs to her.
It was gathered that a DNA test is also going to be conducted to find out who is the biological parent of the contentious baby girl.