Woman seeks justice after Doctors at UPTH removed her womb without her consent

A Port Harcourt-based human rights group, Lawyers Watch For Justice International Initiative, has waded into the alleged unlawful removal of a patient’s womb at the University of Port Harcourt, UPTH, without her consent.

The group in its petition to the police cited “gross lack of due diligence”, in the investigation of the matter by the police officer handling the case.
The body also demanded the withdrawal and reassignment of the matter to another police officer.
They accused the police Superintendent handling the case, Supol Rufus of the State Criminal Investigation Department, Port Harcourt of bias, intimidation and harassment of the victim, Revelation Agents online reports.
According to the petition, the group noted that: “We hold the brief of Rukayat Afolabi (‘Our Client’) on whose instruction and interest we write, on the issue of lack of due diligence in the conduct of investigations of a complainant of the removal of her womb, without her knowledge and consent during a surgery conducted at the University of Harcourt Teaching Hospital,(UPTH) Port Harcourt Rivers State.”
The petition signed by Ikechukwu Richard Ogbokwu, an Associate Solicitor at the human rights organization, noted that its client reported the case of the removal of her womb without her consent on the first day in the month of February 2019 at the UPTH.
“Following her travails, the matter was said to have been “referred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Rivers State, after all, previous attempts made at arresting the suspects were compromised.”
The group regretted that a Superintendent of Police, Supol Rufus, who led the team allegedly failed to employ expertise and diligence in the conduct of investigations into the case.”
The group anchored its conviction on an alleged statement by the officer who blamed “lack of resource for the proper conduct of investigations of the complainant.”
The group also accused him of depending on its client, an indigent complainant, to fund his investigation of the case.

Other accusations leveled at the lead investigator includes “leaving the issue at stake, which bothers on the case that deals with the unauthorized removal of the womb…..during surgery (He is dexterous in arresting a traditional birth attendant who was not part of the surgery), while he pays blind eyes to the team involved in the surgery, who acted in gross negation of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Medical and Dental Practitioners in Nigeria.”
The body also alleged that harassment was meted out to its client on 9 August 2019, at about 6;30 pm by the investigation team leader, Supol Fufus. 
The group alleged that the matter of intimidation took place in a telephone conversation.
They alleged that the police Superintendent told Rukayat that a strong case was hanging on her head by the management of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital and that “she might be heading for jail due to the nature of evidence tendered against her.”
The body described it as “retraumatizing our client” who is already traumatized, despondent and depressed with baseless lies calculated and concocted to intimidate her”.
|The human rights group also stated that the actions of the senior police officer had resulted in great hardship and trauma and indeed had made her(the client) to lose faith in the entire process of getting justice in her case.
This, according to the petition, informed the need to reassign the case to another officer for fairness to prevail in the matter.
The rights group further appealed to authorities concerned to ensure the withdrawal and reassignment of the case “to another police officer for proper investigation and prosecution of all culprits involved.”
Meanwhile, the body had sent copies of the petition to the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State and the Deputy Commissioner, State Criminal Investigation Department.

Credit: The Port City News