- .My equipment, not penis entered her – Suspect
- .Liar, you raped me…All I want is justice – Victim
By CHIOMA IGBOKWE, HENRY OKONKWO and LAWRENCE ENYOGHASU
THE last has not been heard of the alleged rape case preferred against Dr Oluyemi Olusola, founder and Medical Director of Sayemi Naturescience Center, a fertility clinic in Lagos. Saturday Sun, had in an exclusive cover story last weekend, reported the allegation of rape made against the suspect by a housewife, Mrs Toyin Bello. She had on Saturday, April 9 gone to the Ikeja, Lagos clinic of Dr Olusola who claims he is a fertility medical expert to seek for solution to her 24-year barrenness. Rather than come out of the clinic with solution to her problem, she left with a broken heart after she alleged that her doctor penetrated her with his penis while pretending to be carrying out a fertility test on her.
Although the matter is being investigated by the Lagos State police command, the story had also drawn the attention of the state governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode who has ordered a thorough investigation into the matter. Besides, some Non-Governmental Organisations, NGOs, have shown interest in seeking justice for the victim even as the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA and the Trado-Medicine Practitioners have described the suspect as a fake and an impostor.
Under pressure, Dr Olusola has equally admitted that he is not a qualified medical practitioner but a trado medicine practitioner.
The victim, Mrs Bello had in her statement at the police station alleged that the doctor used on her, a medical instrument which is usually inserted into the vagina and moved around slightly while ultrasound images are shown on a screen. According to her, she was convinced that the method would enable the doctor have a good view of her womb to ascertain if anything was wrong.
The instrument which has the shape of a penis, she alleged, was inserted into her vagina but she never knew when the doctor withdrew the instrument and inserted his penis inside her, until he was about to ejaculate.
Determined to prove his innocence, Dr Olusola visited The Sun Publishing Ltd head office in Lagos and told his own side of the story. He said he could not fathom why Mrs. Bello suddenly accused him of rape. He claimed that Mrs. Bello, after realising her mistake on that Tuesday retracted her allegation at the police station.
When confronted with Dr Olusola’s defense, Bello said that it was God’s way of exposing the doctor with the newspaper publication. “The police said that I have no case because there was no struggling or damaging of things. There is no concrete evidence to pursue the matter. It is God that is fighting for me, that is why the story came out.
“I had a reason for going back to the clinic on Monday. It was my husband that asked me to go back to the clinic and get evidence as soon as possible. On getting home, I did not know that the secret camera I went with did not record. I want to make it clear to the whole world that I do not owe him a kobo. Is it possible for a lab to conduct a test without a lab paper to show the kind of test that was done? He did not print out anything for me.
The state police command spokesperson, SP Dolapo Badmus, in a text message response to our enquiry on what the police was doing, said that there was no evidence to prosecute the case yet. “The Area Command, Area F, is still investigating but right now, there is no evidence to prove the offence of rape against the doctor”, she stated.
Meanwhile, the state governor Akinwunmi Ambode would not buy into the police excuse and has already directed the Office of the Public Defender (OPG), Ministry of Justice to wade into the matter and ensure that justice is served if the doctor is found culpable.
According to the Director, OPG, Mrs. Omotola Rotimi, the department will ensure that the case is not abandoned along the way. “Be rest assured that we will ensure that proper investigation is carried out and the guilty will be made to face the wrath of the law.”
Lawyers, activists react
Reacting to the incident, Mrs. Glory Egbuji of Crime Victims Foundation (CRIVFON) said that rape is a very hard case to prove. “It is hard to get conviction in a case of rape as the criminal code makes it very difficult. We have less than 2% conviction in court. It’s worse when there is no eye witness. It normally takes place in a closed room.
“It is going to be difficult but that does not mean that she was not raped. The judge is still going to give his judgment based on what is in the books. It is a case that must be proved beyond reasonable doubt and it is very difficult to do that. If policemen are ready to do proper investigation, they will definitely get a strong evidence to pursue the matter.
“Another problem that we have is the area where the victim will be blackmailed to kill the case. I’m handling a case where a medical doctor had been sleeping with his maid until she became pregnant. The matter was reported and the doctor did not deny it. It was his wife who came back and started begging that I should stay away from the case. In-fact, she warned me to mind my business. This is always the setback we get when handling rape cases.”
Another lawyer and a human rights activist, Barrister Dania Tonia assured that if the police will allow an independent lawyer to prosecute the case that justice will be achieved. “What the lawyer said in that report is true. The fact remains that rape does not necessarily mean that the person was forced. When you deceive an individual and have canal knowledge of the person, that is also rape. Police are not ready to go the extra length in finding evidence to nail such a person. I do not blame them because they are overwhelmed by unending cases. I assure that woman that Justice will be served even if she reported the case late.”
Also lending his voice was Barrister Ojo Akinwale, a human rights activist and president of Alliance of Right Defendant. “The first thing she can do is to report the case to the police and she has to undergo medical test. With that medical report, it will show if there was sexual intercourse or not. At that point in time, they can even recover some semen deposit in her. With that, the doctor can be arrested and charged.
“In the story, the woman said the doctor used condom and massaged her clitoris.
It does not matter. As long as it is reported to other authorities for corroboration, there will always be evidence against the doctor. If she reported to somebody or other medical practitioners around or nurses and that doctor can be charged with that. The doctor might have used condom but that does not stop the private part infraction. The private part will show that it has been tampered with. It will always show that somebody has had sexual intercourse with her. It will even show on the clitoris that there was an infraction on it and that can be enough to jail the doctor.”
Recalling a past incident, Akinwale said that something similar happened in a hospital around his area. “Luckily, the lady reported immediately and the result showed what the doctor did it. It is not easy for a woman to come out and say someone raped her if it didn’t happen. In 100 percent reported cases, 90 percent of them are true and valid.”
Barrister Evans Ufeli, founder Ethnic Africa and women rights activist explained that this kind of rape can be best described as fraudulent.
“This is the kind of rape committed through fraud. The criminal code 357 clearly spelt out that rape can be committed by force, fraud or deceit. Medical test can’t prove the woman’s allegation because it’s a kind of rape act that was done by fraud. I read the woman’s story and I notice she was very vivid in stating her case. We must not allow this die down. Although establishing rape can be herculean but that doesn’t mean we should not move to seek justice. I strongly recommend the doctor be made to face the scrutiny of the law. If he’s innocent he’ll be exonerated but if he’s guilty let him be punished to serve as a deterrent to others.
“Again the government should do more to regulate and monitor activities of all these trado-medical practitioners. Many of them know little or nothing about basic ethical standards of their profession.
“For moral reason, a nurse should have been there before the doctor starts examining the woman’s private part. That is the proper thing to be done. Some trado-medical practitioners are licensed to treat fertility issues but before examining a woman’s private areas, I insist a nurse should have been there with the doctors.”
NMA, Trado Medical practitioners disown suspect
Condemning the act is the Lagos State Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Tope Ojo who said that the suspect is not a medical doctor but an individual who properly has an expertise with herbs. “He can be called a herbalist not a doctor. He is not a medical doctor because we are professionals. If any of our members is found culpable, such a person will lose his or her license.
“Nigerians in need of medical care should be patient enough to seek help from government approved hospitals. Patronizing quacks will end up compounding the person’s problem just like in the case of this woman.”
Disassociating the organization, the National President of Nigerian Traditional Medicine practitioners (NANTMP), Dr Omon Oleabhiele said that the man must be a devil’s incarnate not a traditional doctor.
“I doubt if that man is a member of NANTMP, the man is not a traditional doctor, he is a devil incarnate. No member of our group will do such. Every of our members holds the code of conduct of the group in high esteem. We have code of ethics and conduct for practice of traditional medicine. None of our members can do that to any female, be it girl or woman. As long as that person is not a traditional doctor, there is no comparison. A traditional doctor knows what is already at stake in his profession, which means he has more things to care for than having carnal knowledge of his female patient.”