THE Police in Lagos have begun investigation into an alleged case of rape against the Medical Director of a fertility clinic, Sayemi Naturescience Centre. The suspect (names withheld) was alleged to have had carnal knowledge of one of his patients on Saturday April 9, 2016 at one of his centers in Ikeja area of Lagos State.
His accuser, one Mrs Funke (other names withheld) made the allegation in her statement at the police station few days after the encounter, hoping that she would get justice. She alleged that the Doctor used a medical instrument called transducer which is usually inserted inside thevagina and moved around slightly while ultrasound images are shown on screen. According to her, she was convinced that the method would allow the doctor have a good view of her womb to ascertain if anything was wrong.
The instrument which has the shape of the penis, she alleged , was inserted into her vagina but she never knew when the doctor withdrew the instrument and inserted his own penis inside her untill he was about to ejaculate. Although this might sound like a fairy tale, the victim insisted she never consented to the act.
Battling to control her tears, Mrs. Funke said that it was her quest to conceive that landed her in trouble. In her words, “I have a 24 year old son and ever since, all efforts to get pregnant had failed. I have visited different hospitals and prayed endlessly for God to remember me. Luckily, I have an understanding husband who stood by me all these years.
“I knew that I had to do anything possible to ensure that there are children in the house. This was how I picked interest in any programme that talks about fertility. Early in the month, I watched a health programme organized by the Doctor who is the founder of Sayemi Naturalscience Centre, Ikeja.
“During the programme, he explained that he had a natural way through which he could heal infertility. I was impressed and I decided to visit his clinic when he explained that my problem could be solved through dieting.
“Last Saturday, with the consent of my husband, I decided to pay him a visit. I bought their clinic card for N2000 and waited for my turn. When I finally saw the doctor, I narrated my medical history and all the efforts that I had made to conceive. He assured me that his clinic would be my last bus stop but he would need to access my body through vaginal scan.
“I knew what vaginal scan meant. Immediately, I stretched my body on the table for examination. Normally, you were expected to lie down and spread your legs widely apart. I trusted the doctor, so I never queried his method.
“He applied cream on my vagina and inserted the instrument used by doctors for normal vaginal scan. The only odd thing he did was to touch my clitoris and I tried to resist and he told me to calm down that this was a perfect process of inducing my hormones so that he could access my body well.
“At that point, I relaxed very well, closed my eyes and spread my legs because my focus was to get solution.
“At a point, he removed the equipment and inserted it again but this time, it was much bigger. I believed that it was as a result of him fondling with my clitoris that made me to get carried away to the point that I could not tell that the stuff that was bigger inside me was actually his penis.
“It was the noise he made when he was about to ejaculate that drew my attention and I opened my eyes and lo and behold, he was actually having sex with me instead of the scan.”
Shocked, Mrs. Funke claimed
that she quickly wore her pants and asked the doctor why he took advantage of her.
“I was shocked as well as embarrassed. I was terrified because I could not understand if this was the process. He quickly removed the condom and threw into the waste basket and started begging me to forgive him and allow him to proceed with the treatment. I left his office and complained to the nurse who was on duty and she said that it is not a new thing that the man is used to sleeping with most of his patients. She asked me to forgive him that she would find a way to get the hospital compensate me so that the matter would be closed”.
When asked why she did not scream or attack the doctor when she discovered what happened, Mrs. Funke said that her main concern was to get out of the place safe. “When I discovered what he did, I was terrified because I could not understand why he did that to me. I have heard of how people mysteriously die and my main concern was to leave his office alive, that was why I complained bitterly to the nurse. When I got home, I told my husband what I went through and he asked me to formally report to the police. Heaven knows that I did not consent to the act. I only had faith in the doctor that he knew what he was doing”, she claimed.
She begged the police to assist her to get justice. “I am legally married and I am blessed with a great husband. That was why I confided in him. He was the one who encouraged me to be bold enough to report the matter to the police so that such a crime would not continue.”
When Saturday Sun called the number on the hospital card as presented by the woman, the person who answered the call admitted that he was the Medical Director and queried if his accuser was not conscious or drugged when the alleged act took place. He thanked the reporter and assured that he would sort out the problem as soon as possible to avoid any scandal.
When the Doctor was called again on his mobile phone number at about 1:27pm on Thursday to react in details to the allegation, he initially feigned ignorance but later said he had no comment to make.
Other women recall similar encounters
Just like Funke, some women who heard her story pleaded with the Police to use her case as an example for other doctors who are in the habit of sleeping with their female patients.
One of such is Mrs. Vivian Agu who said that her gynecologist in a popular hospital around HRC Enugu fondled her breast when she was eight months pregnant. “I started bleeding at eight months of my pregnancy and my doctor sent me for a scan at the said hospital. When I got there, being my first time, I obtained a card and was sent to see a doctor before the scan. When I got to him, he asked my name which I gave to him. The next thing, he started fondling my breast and I was just watching. At a point, he asked if I was not feeling horny and I told him that I did not even know that he was touching my breast. He told me that I was a strong woman as so many women at that point, used to plead with him to have sex with them. I asked him why he was doing it and he told me that he needed to access the fluid that would come out of nipples so he could write his report before I went for the scan. I did the scan and left. I felt that was the process untill I became pregnant again, I was sent for another scan but this time around, I had it at Enugu Scan Centre and when it got to my turn, the doctor just did the scan he never touched my breast. I asked him why he did not touch my breast and he told me that it had nothing to do with the scan. It was then I narrated my experience with the other doctor and he told me that the doctor was promiscuous.”
Another victim Bola recalled that she went through hell for 17 years waiting for the fruit of the womb. “I was desperate to get a child and was ready to go to any hospital or prayer house. One day, my husband’s friend referred me to a doctor and told me that he would be my last bus stop. I was excited and followed him. The so-called doctor asked me to bend down and remove my pants, that he wanted to examine my vagina from behind.
“I discovered that he was robbing a cream on my clitoris and I kept quiet because I thought it was the procedure. Meanwhile, I was very vigilant because in the course of my childlessness, I had never experienced such. Suddenly, he brought out his penis and was about to insert it in my vagina when I shouted. I ran out of the office screaming. That was the last time and I swore I would never visit any place that is not a good hospital. And as God would have it, am blessed with three daughters today.
“Women go through a lot all in the name of making babies. No sane woman would boldly tell her husband or friends that her doctor or even pastor slept with her.”
Another woman who preferred to remain anonymous said she was almost lured into sleeping with one herbal doctor in Lagos.” The man was introduced to her as a prophet and herbal doctor. My friend took me to his church at Epe. I was asked to fast for seven days while he gave me some herbs to cook and drink. He asked me to return on the day of my ovulation that I would be prayed for and after that sleep with my husband.
“On that day, I went there with my friend. When it was my turn to see the prophet, he asked me to remove my pant and lie on the table. He also told me to spread my legs and close my eyes. To ensure that my eyes were closed, he used a red cloth to cover my eyes. I became suspicious but played along although my eyes were closed but my legs were not. I removed the blindfold as soon as someone touched my legs and said “open your legs.” I got the shock of my life when I saw the prophet’s erected penis. I screamed and pushed him aside. Instead of hiding his face in shame, he told me that he wanted to make me conceive in case my husband is not able. I ran out of his office only for my friend who heard my voice to order me to go back into the room and comply with the prophet’s instruction. She said that there it was no big deal. I left the place annoyed and disappointed.”
Reacting to the incident, a lawyer, Emmanuel Eke said the victim needs to be very convincing, giving no space for the accused to evade justice if he is indeed guilty. “The truth is that in Africa, it is hard to prove a rape case. This is an uphill task. Medical examination is important here and I do not know whether that is possible within the space that she reported the incident. But winning is not the only issue. It is worth seeking for justice. She may be believed empirically but may not be believed legally. Most importantly, that will stop the doctor from trying such out on another person. He is quite aware that he has a record with the police. I commend the lady who was bold enough to report the matter.”
When contacted on the incident, the state Police spokesperson, Dolapo Badmus said the command is already aware of the case and would act accordingly.