Thursday, 29 October 2015

Press Conference On The Death Of Dr. Hestianna Idiodi-Thomas

Concerned Women Voices
October 29, 2015

Ladies and gentlemen of the press, you are welcome to this Press Conference being organized by Concerned Women Voices to ask pertinent questions on #WhatHappenedToDrThomas, the young female Consultant Paediatrician and mother of two who died as a result of fatal injuries sustained in her home.
Concerned Women Voices is a coalition of women rights organizations, professional women, and female celebrities who are concerned about the seeming increase in cases of violent incidences affecting women and girls both in private and public life.
Last week Friday, the social media was agog with reports of suspected acts of domestic violence that resulted in the death of Dr. (Mrs) Hestianna Idiodi-Thomas, a Consultant Paediatrician with Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH. The reports stated that the late doctor was rushed into the Accident and Emergency Ward of LUTH in the early hours of Tuesday October 13th with injuries on her head and other bruises.  At the hospital, she was declared dead. While the social media and the print media reported suspected acts of domestic violence as having led to the young doctor’s death, speculations attributed to the Nigerian Medical Association and the Medical Women Association stated that it was a case of suicide. The speculations said Dr. Idiodi Thomas was a ‘’psychiatric patient, who did not seek medical attention’’.
As Concerned Women Voices, we are not interested in hearsay and speculations but the FACTS. We do not want the truth to die with Dr. Idiodi-Thomas. We want her dead body to tell the true story of what happened in her home that fateful night/morning.

The facts as we know it are as follows:
1.     The unfortunate incident occurred at her residence.
2.     Dr. Babafemi Thomas, her husband was the last to see her alive (the night before) and first to see her fatally injured in the early hours of the morning.
3.     She was rushed to the hospital by her husband, Dr. Babafemi Thomas where she was declared dead.
4.     According to the police she had marks on her body, suggestive of violence. Also colleagues at the hospital said she had a fractured skull and her head was swollen and unrecognizable.
5.     Up on till three days before the incident, colleagues of hers said she was at work.
6.     Some parents whose children she treated and operated upon have commented on her dedication to work and her cheeriness.
With these facts in mind, we as Concerned Women Voices have the following questions to ask:
·      If Dr. Idiodi-Thomas was indeed a ‘’psychiatric patient’’ how sick was she? And why was she still allowed to treat patients (sick children) up until 3 days before her death?
·      As a medical doctor and husband to a mentally sick person, what conscious effort did Dr. Babafemi Thomas take to ensure that the wife comes to no harm, and that she was seeking medical attention?
·      Why are there three versions out there as to how she ‘’committed suicide’’? Version one she jumped from the balcony. Version two: the husband found her in front of their bedroom door; and version three, she jumped from the water tanker.
·      As husband, care giver and a medical doctor living with a ‘’psychiatric patient’’, didn’t Dr. Babafemi Thomas think he has the responsibility of  ensuring that all doors are carefully locked and keys kept away, to prevent possible suicidal acts as being projected here?
·      Have the neighbours been spoken to about the way and manner the couple lived and if they had on any occasion heard noises or fights from their flats?
·      Has it been confirmed that if the Thomases lived on the ground floor or first/second floor of the building in order to ascertain the jump down theory?
·      Did Dr. Babafemi Thomas in shock cry out for help and assistance from neighbours when he found his wife unresponsive, severely injured and almost dead?
·      Living in a compound of 5-6 flats, and Dr. Idiodi-Thomas having jumped from her flat or from the water tank, how come other neighbours didn’t didn’t hear a fall or a big sound that could have attracted them to come out?
·      As doctors, is it not unethical to divulge patient information as the NMA has quickly done in the case of one of their own?

We believe the NMA and LUTH are compromised in this instance. They are interested parties and as such, should step aside for an INDEPENDENT AUTOPSY AND CORONER’S INQUEST TO BE CARRIED OUT. They cannot sit and judge on one of their own.  We are therefore calling for a thorough unbiased police investigation into the questionable and violent death of this young female doctor. 


We are indeed concerned about the seeming increase in reported cases of women being injured or dying in their homes under questionable circumstances. The home should not be a battle field of sorts. It should be a safe place for every man, woman and child.
Concerned Women Voices

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Project Alert provides accommodation support to victim's family

Mr. Okechukwu Okiki a father of a 3 year child who was sexually abused by a neighbour ran to Project Alert for help. Though he reported the matter to the police promptly, the police tried forcing a out of court settlement with him, which he refused. Project Alert took up his matter, accompanied to the police station; provided him free legal aid; and gave him a loan to rent a new accommodation away from the area the incident had happened. The perpetrator was arrested, prosecuted and jailed. Mr. Okiki started a new life in his new home, with his family.

Sunday, 17 May 2015


Project Alert's attention was drawn to an on line report in The Herald Newspaper of today May 17th in which a so called coalition of NGOs in Lagos known as the  Foundation for African Heritage, FACH, stated that it is "unreasonable and illogical for the girls to subject the girls to a traumatic, violent and life threatening abortion  process. This statement was made by the the Director of FACH, Mr. Sonnie Ekwowusi while donating some cash to NEMA to assist with the girls rehabilitation.

The donation made by FACH does not give them the right to decide what is in the best interest of the girls who have been subjected to months of unimaginable physical, sexual and psychological terror.  What greater trauma, violence and life threatening situation can the women/girls face than what they were subjected to during the months of their captivity?

Why do we we always play politics with the lives  of women and girls? The decision whether to have abortion or not is the EXCLUSIVE DECISION of the girls in close consultations with their immediate families. NON OF US have the faintest clue of the extent and depth of physical and psychological pain and torture these girls and their families went through, thus NON OF US have the right to decide for them.

This is indeed the ONE TIME, these girls would have to decide through put this nightmarish experience. They never decided to be kidnapped. They never decided to be raped brutally and severally by their abductors; and for sure they never decided to get pregnant. THIS IS THE ONE TIME THEY GET TO DECIDE.

THE law on abortion in Nigeria definitely does not hold water in this case. So also should religious sentiments not hold sway. For once as a people let's be real and not hypocritical. For as many of the girls who want to keep the pregnancy should be supported to do so; and for as many who want to abort it, should be supported to do so. THIS IS NOT THE TIME OR OCCASION FOR POLITICS OF ANY KIND.


Josephine Effah-Chukwuma
Executive Director
Project Alert on Violence Against Women

Monday, 19 January 2015

Unmarried 60-year-old bricklayer rapes pupil

A 60-year-old bricklayer, Segun Benson, has been accused of raping a primary six pupil on Mommoh Street in the Agege area of Lagos State.

In the course of the rape, the victim’s private parts were said to have been damaged.

Benson, who has an aged mother, was said to have never been married, while attempts by his mother to get him a wife had continually been turned down.

After he allegedly ravished the victim, he was said to have sent her out, despite the flow of blood from her private parts.

Residents were said to have sighted the victim in a public bathroom writhing in pain.

After bleeding from her private parts for a while, the 14-year-old was said to have collapsed.

She reportedly told concerned residents that Segun tricked her into his room with N50 and raped her.
When PUNCH Metro visited the area on Wednesday, he met a group of relatives still discussing the incident.

A resident and an eyewitness, who identified herself simply as Iya Egun, told PUNCH Metro she initially thought the victim was having her menstrual flow.

She said, “I saw her writhing in pain in a bathroom. She said she wanted to defecate, but I saw blood coming out of her private parts.

“I raised the alarm and when other people arrived at the scene, she said it was Segun that raped her.”
A relative, Okunloye Kehinde, said the victim’s private parts had been damaged.

He said, “I got a call around 2pm that fateful Saturday. When I got there, I saw a crowd of people around her. I saw a container filled with blood. Even her clothes were drenched in blood.”

Kehinde said he went with the victim’s father to report the incident at the Elere Police Division.

The police, in company with some relatives of the victim, arrested the suspect in his house.

Our correspondent spoke with the victim who walked with some difficulty.

She said, “I am in primary six. On Friday, he gave me N50 to buy sweet for myself. He then asked me to caress his private parts. When I told him I would tell my daddy, he said I should not go home.
“He took me to his house around Railway Line where he raped me. I was there from 3pm till around 7pm. I started bleeding from his house and when I got home the blood did not stop. But I kept it secret until Saturday when people saw it.”

Her mother, Taibat, said she had never met the suspect before.

“I have seven kids and she is the third child. I was sleeping when people called me that my daughter had been raped. I have never met the man before though he lives on the street. The government should take over the case and do what is right,” she said.
Our correspondent reached out to the suspect’s mother, Mrs. Tinuke Benson, who is in her nineties.
The woman, while fighting back tears, pleaded with PUNCH Metro to intervene on her behalf because the suspect was her only son.

She said, “Segun is my only child. I had four other children and they are all dead. He is the reason for my living. I don’t know why he did what he did.

“Each time I tried to get him a wife, he refused and told me he was old enough to look for a woman for himself. He said that many times without getting a wife. Please help me because he’s my hope.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Kenneth Nwosu, said the case had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba.
He said, “The victim has also been taken to the hospital for necessary tests and the suspect is in custody.”

Source: Punch

Saturday, 10 January 2015

‘UNILAG graduate’ rapes nine-year-old, flees

December 2, 2014 was a sad day for Mrs. Bilikis Balogun. That day, she learnt that her innocent nine-year-old girl, Nofisat, had been sexually assaulted by their 30-year-old neighbour, Ikechukwu Obasi, while she was in the market.

“He has fled his apartment since the incident. But I just want him to face justice and get punishment for what he did to my daughter,” she said.

“I have never thought that the man could do that to my daughter. He was such a friendly person in our compound. All I know about him is that he is a ‘Yahoo-Yahoo guy’ (a description for young men who specialise in internet fraud).

According to Bilikis, she was in the market when her daughter came crying, and told her the story about how their neighbour took advantage of her at their 83, Aina Street, Pako Aguda home, in Surulere, Lagos.

Nofisat, a quiet and shy girl, whose eyes showed the painful memory of the experience she had gone through, told our correspondent that she did not suspect anything when Ikechukwu came into the room where she was reading in their apartment and gave her a N1,000 note to go and buy food for him.

She said, “I bought the food and took it to him. But because the food vendor did not give me back N850 change, he said I should go back and collect it. When I brought the change back to him, he locked the door.

“He then used a cloth to cover my mouth and I could not shout. He then carried me to the bed and did it. When he finished and I was bleeding, he said I should not tell anybody.”

Later that afternoon, the girl narrated what Ikechukwu did to her to another resident of the compound, who spotted her crying in front of Ikechukwu’s room.

The neighbour told her to go and report the incident to her mother in the market.

But by the time they got back, Ikechukwu had locked his room and fled. He has not been seen since then.

Ikechukwu’s phone number which was provided to our correspondent, has not been available as well.
However, our correspondent visited his Facebook page with the name Eyekay Da Stika Obasi, where he posted photos up until January 2, 2015. He had yet to respond to a message sent to him as of the time of filing this report.

Ikechukwu’s Facebook page states that he attended the University of Lagos and studied Psychology even though this could not be verified as a result of the fact that he did not state when he graduated.
The case was reported at the Aguda Police Division, Surulere, but the police said they had been unable to take any action because the culprit had fled.

However, Ikechukwu’s family had approached Nofisat’s family, pleading to pay monetary compensation to settle the matter.

“How can they tell me they want to pay N40,000 so that I would forget my daughter was raped? All I want is justice for my daughter. They have refused to produce the man,” Nofisat’s mother said.
When our correspondent spoke with the investigating police officer in charge of the case, he explained that he was still on the trail of Ikechukwu.

“We cannot refer to the case as a rape, it is defilement. But in the meantime, the two families are trying to settle. I have asked the family of the victim to come to my office but they have not come,” the IPO, who pleaded anonymity, said.

Child Rights Activist, Mrs. Esther Ogwu, has called upon the police to do more than just tell the family of the suspect to produce him.

She said, “The police should do a thorough job of tracking down the young man. Who knows the kind of fetish thing he might have done to the girl?

“This is a lesson to parents to be wary of neighbours they leave their children alone with.”

Source: Punch

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Imam rapes 22-year-old, shaves hairs in Ogun

An Imam, Rabiu Abdulquadri, has been arrested by the Ogun State Police Command for shaving the pubic hair of a 22-year-old-girl and collecting her nails under the pretext of preparing a favour charm for her.

The Imam was also accused of raping the victim, Elizabeth (pseudonym), in his house in Abule-Ojo, Obafemi Owode Local Government Area, Ogun State

PUNCH Metro learnt that Abduquadri, popularly known as Alfa Cisse, approached the victim, who was returning from her place of work around 8.30pm on December 28.

The Imam was said to have stopped the victim at a roundabout in the Ofada area of the state, claiming he had a vision about her.

He was said to have ordered her to join an on-going prayer in his mosque before he could reveal the vision.

Elizabeth, who claimed she succumbed to Alfa Cisse’s bidding unconsciously, said he took her to his apartment after she dropped her luggage at home.

In the night, the cleric allegedly instructed her to strip herself naked and shaved strands of hair in her head, armpit and private parts, after which he had a carnal knowledge of her.

It was also learnt that he told her to come back for a charm that would bring favour to her the following day.

When our correspondent visited the victim on Wednesday, she said, “He and some clerics prayed for me. In the night, he woke me up, collected my nails, hairs and slept with me not minding my menstrual discharge. He said he would use them to prepare a charm for me to get favour.

“I did not realise what I was doing untill the next day when I returned home and my sister scolded me for not sleeping at home. That was when it occurred to me that I had been used.

“He even demanded more hairs when I got there the following day. Since then, I have been feeling weak and I can’t sleep in the night.”

Elizabeth’s uncle, Mr. Oluwaseun Idowu, said he had spent a lot of money on the victim, whose health reportedly aggravated after the encounter with the cleric.

Idowu said he eventually located the Imam’s house after which policemen from the Owode Police Division arrested him.

PUNCH Metro learnt that Alfa Cisse confessed to the police that he actually took the girl’s pubic hairs, although he denied having sex with her.

The Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, confirmed the incident.

He said, “The suspect was paraded by the state Commissioner of Police, Ikemefuna Okoye, today (Wednesday).

“He will be charged to court soon.”

Source: Punch



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