A medical doctor at the Federal Medical Center, Bida, Niger State, Dr. Seyi, has been accused of raping a sixten year old girl named Fatima Yusuf and impregnating her while she was attending to her mother who was on admission at the hospital for severe diabetes. Fatima died last Monday during childbirth.
The Nation reports that Fatima had informed her family of the said doctor’s repeated sexual assault. A family source said the rape started when the doctor called Fatima to his office pretending to want to advise her on her mother’s medical condition. He forcefully had sex with her in his office and continued until Fatima’s mother was discharged from the hospital.
The family source, who pleaded not to be named because she was not qualified to speak for the family, said that when other family members discovered that Fatima was pregnant, they asked her who the father of the baby was and she fingered the said doctor, who vehemently denied having any sexual relationship with her.
The case, however, became so serious that the Emir of Bida, Alhaji Abubakar Yahaya, had to intervene in it. The accused doctor, in the course of interrogation at the Emir’s palace, was said to have admitted that he only hugged Fatima and rubbed his body against hers, but did not have any sexual intercourse with her. Fatima however maintained that the doctor forcibly slept with her, and the act resulted in her pregnancy.
The situation was said to have caused the Emir to order that a paternity test be conducted on the pregnancy. But while the Federal Medical Centre complied with the directive, it has been reluctant to release the result of the test, a situation that led to the decision to conduct another paternity test in a hospital outside the state. Unfortunately, while this was going on, Fatima died on Monday some time after she was delivered of a baby boy at the family house in Bida.
Alarmed by the development, the Niger State Child Rights Agency was said to have taken over the case. The Director General of the agency, Barrister Mariam Kolo, who confirmed to our correspondent that the agency had taken up the case, said the agency’s attention was drawn to it because the victim was underage and because it was suspected that the management of the hospital was trying to cover up for the accused doctor.
Kolo said that while Fatima might have died, the agency would go ahead with the case and see to its logical conclusion. If Dr. Seyi is found guilty, she said, he will not escape the wrath of the law.Even in the worst case scenario, a naive and underage girl like that cannot just accuse someone who is higher than her wrongly. If the man did not have carnal knowledge of her, she would not accuse him falsely. Why did she not accuse another doctor in the hospital? She even knew his office and how it looked like. Why did she stick to her story till she died in spite of pressures from all quarters? The family is not asking for money. They are only asking the doctor to own up and take responsibility for what he did. We are waiting for the DNA result. When it comes out, we will know who the father is. Government cannot take responsibility of the child when the father is alive.”
Kolo said the Federal Medical Centre, Bida, was trying to cover up the case, adding that the doctor was hiding under the guise that the result of the DNA test was not yet out and that he would not say anything until the test’s result was released.
”Although no autopsy was done, it was clear that she died out of intense depression. Look at this: her mother is ill, a man raped and impregnated her and denied it, and they do not have money to feed. He put her under intense depression. It is one of the factors that led to her death. He contributed to her psychological state of mind. This is a very sensitive matter. If medical doctors are now harassing children, it leaves one to wonder if our children are safe. ”
When contacted, the hospital’s Head of Communication, Musa Ladan acknowledged that a case of alleged sexual harassment was filed against one of its doctors, adding that the hospital was not covering up anybody. Ladan said nothing has been done to the accused doctor because it cannot rely on mere allegations.There is a case we are handling. It is not a case of cover-up by the hospital as it is being alleged in some quarters. The case is about a patient’s relation who accused one of our doctors of having carnal knowledge of her. It was brought to our attention and we have set up a high powered committee to investigate it. We have even gone ahead to do a DNA test and we are currently awaiting the result, although while we were waiting, the lady in question died in her family house.
We have to establish the accusation. Everything is at accusation level now. We have not done anything to the doctor because we are waiting for the result of the DNA test. After the result, we will know the step to take.” he said
Investigations into the matter is still ongoing.