At the continuation of trial of the medical doctor of Optimal Cancer Care Foundation, Dr. Olufemi Olaleye on Wednesday, 4 January, 2023, a medical doctor in Family Medicine, at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Dr. Akinbunmi Oyebimpe has testified as the fourth prosecution witness.
Giving evidence before Justice Ramon Oshodi, of a Lagos State Sexual Offences in Ikeja, the medical doctor who works at Mirabel Centre where the alleged survivor was examined following referral from the police revealed her findings to the judge about the medical examination carried out on the 15 year old said to have been sexually abused by the defendant.
In her testimony also as a medical examiner with Mirabel Centre and staff of LASUTH, who personally carried out medical examination on the victim following referral from the Gender Section of the Lagos State Police Command, Headquarters, Ikeja, explained that the victim was referred to the centre together with a complaint of repeated sexual abuse since March 2020 by her aunt husband, Dr. Olaleye.
According to her evidence, which she claimed was based on history provided by the survivor and medical examination of the victim, the certified medical examiner said, “The major findings was in the genital area. The hymen was angular which means ring-shaped and slightly estrogenised.
“There was a notch at 9 ‘O’ clock position on the hymen and transection at one ‘O’ clock position at the hymen.
“The vaginal was also unduly visible…more than one-third of the lower vagina. These are my findings”.
Giving a summary on her findings, she said, “The pattern of injury that I saw were consistent with repeated forceful penetrative injury into the vagina.. an ongoing forceful long penetrative injury to the vagina, was what she documented and reported to the Centre”.
While being led in evidence by Dr. Babajide Martins, the Director of Public Prosecution, the witness said about the client telling her the history of repeated sexual abuse since 2020.
The doctor informed the court, quoting the survivor, “She said he usually call her in the middle of the night when others were sleeping to come downstairs and that he will remove his trouser and asked her to suck his penis.
“He sometimes also puts his finger in her vagina. Then, she said he also applied something like lubricant and he will penetrate her vagina with his penis.
“This she said happened about four times and also gives her pills and also threatened her that if she tells anyone she would die,” she related.
During cross-examination, Babatunde Ogala, SAN querying the doctor’s testimony, he asked her, “How did you conclude that the defendant abused her?
The witness responded that the survivor did not tell her the name of the defendant.
She added that her client didn’t give the history of when the assault stopped.
Probing her further on the timing of the sexual abuse, Dr. Oyebimpe added, “As a doctor, I can not say when it started or ended”.
She also noted that the pattern of injury on the victim that she saw during her medical examination was consistent, it’s repeated.
The Defence Counsel also asked her about the disparity on the time of the incidence and when it was reported in 2022, the doctor replied, “If there is a repeated vagina injury, it would give the classical feature or sign or symptom that I saw on the vagina because it has been ongoing”.
She explained that the victim told her that the abuse started in March 2020 and continued until the time she reported.
Ogala further asked how long it takes for an injury to heal?
She responded, “Healing process differs in individual and it’s based on different factor.
Adding that blood supply to the vagina is usually low, she explained that there might be some blood stain, bruises or abrasion.
She however noted, “I did not mention anything fresh in my report.”
In her words, “As a forensic medical examiner on sexual assault, based on standard practice, we examined client when referred to the centre whether it’s immediately, .. that is when the client present self to the centre.
“I documented what the client told me I wasn’t there.
Earlier, Esther Ngozi Igbineweka, an Investigative Police Officer, IPO, with Force No. 181464 of the Gender Section of the Lagos State Police Command, Headquarters, Ikeja who investigated the alleged defilement and sexual assault against the defendant said she got to know the defendant through a petition addressed to the section by the Commissioner of Police.
She said the petition was written by one Mrs. Aderemi Olaleye on behalf of her niece.
Insp. Igbineweka said the survivor took her round the places where the defendant defiled her.
According to the her, “One of the places is at the sitting room and the study room. The medical report was received from Mirabel dated 15th April, 2022.
“And from the report, it was revealed that forceful penetration.
“While the investigation was still on, the complainant opted to travel for a programme out of the country.
“Based on this, my OC Agboola, with the consent of the complainant, that the defendant be released on bail.
She however maintained that the matter was initially reported at the Anthony Police Station but said she took statements from the complainant, the survivor, their gateman, one Waheed Yusuf and the defendant.
She said she investigated and visited the scene.
According to her, “In the course of my investigation, I found out that the complainant, and the defendant are married with two kids.
“I also found out that the victim is a niece to the complainant and that she started living with them in the early 2020 during the COVID-19 and the defendant is a doctor and that the incident was not reported anywhere before the 29 March, 2022 when the case came to my table.
“The victim did not report the case of indecent assault treatment to anybody.
“I also found out that the defendant denied all the allegation of defilement against the victim, that was all I found out, my Lord”.
She insisted that the matter was reported at the Anthony Police Station according to the file that was transferred from Anthony Police Station.
Cross-examining the IPO, she reiterated that when the victim volunteered a statement, she said she was 18 years old.
Ogala probed the witness on what he claimed the defendant wrote in his statement that the survivor was having sexual intercourse with one Mr. Meshach.
The officer said, “At that time of investigation, the said Meshach was no longer working with the Olaleyes and I asked the complainant about effort to contact him and she had said it proved abortive”.
Asked about a certain CCTV, IPO confirmed receipt of a CCTV but claimed that she didn’t view it.
Ogala further asked, “Did you say the girl said she was 18 in 2019 when she came to their house?
She responded, “I asked the victim, and she told me her age and there was no way to investigate whether she was 18 or 19 in 2019 as at when she came to live with them”.
Also asked if the case file was sent to Ministry of Justice. She said , “It was the MoJ that requested for the file through the COP and the file was sent to our legal department.
While the DPP re-examined the witness, Dr. Martins asked, “You had given evidence-In-chief that your boss CSP Agboola ordered that the case be charged to court?
The IPO said “No, my Lord, not immediately.
He continued, “Why was it not charge to court?
Her words, “Because at that time that was when the complainant said she wanted to travel and there was no way I could go to Magistrate Court without the complainant.
The case was concluded, that’s why he (that is CSP Agboola) said the matter be charged to court.
“At that point Sir, the investigation was concluded,” she maintained under re-examination.
Justice Oshodi further adjourned continuation of trial to January 26, 2023.