16 Year Old Girl Tests Positive For COVID-19 After Being Gang Raped By Four Men

It is triple jeopardy for Aishat as her journey to Lagos State for greener pastures has become a nightmare.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the 16-year-old was gang-raped by four men at a motor park in Ijesha, Surulere, where she was abandoned by her guardian.

The rape was said to have resulted in pregnancy, as the Oyo State indigene roamed the park for shelter.

She was reported to have slept in different shops until the pregnancy reached an advanced stage and she was referred to welfare workers.

Aishat was taken to the Mother and Child Care Centre, Gbaja, an arm of the Randle General Hospital, Surulere, where she was delivered of a baby through caesarean section.

Our correspondent learnt that she was being prepared to be taken to a government home when the result of her COVID-19 test returned positive.

She was subsequently transferred to the Gbagada Isolation Centre.

PUNCH Metro obtained a video of Aishat being interrogated by some women, who expressed worry that since she was delivered of the baby, she could not produce breast milk to feed her baby.

In the video, Aishat said, “I got pregnant through rape by four men. I gave birth at Gbaja. I stayed in the Ijesha motor park. I was raped there. I know the rapists. I gave birth through operation.”

The lady filming the video said, “Her breast is not bringing out milk. No food (for the baby). We have been here trying to help this girl. The baby was born through an operation; it’s a baby girl.”

Another woman at the isolation centre narrated how the victim was brought to Lagos from Saki, Oyo State, by a woman who “picked her from her parents when she was small.”

She stated, “The woman promised to hand her over to the person she would be working with. When they got to Lagos, the woman left her at the motor park and said she was coming.

“But the woman did not return. While she was roaming around, she slept in a bus, where she was gang-raped by four men. After being gang-raped, she had no place to go; she was still going round the motor park where she always saw the people who gang-raped her.

“She was sleeping inside shops during the time she was pregnant before she was taken to the Gbaja hospital.”

PUNCH Metro gathered that there was confusion at the Maternal and Child Care Centre, Gbaja, where she was delivered of the baby.

It was learnt that no fewer than 30 health workers were exposed to Aishat during delivery.

Further findings revealed that after tests were conducted, the workers were all mandated to continue working.

A medical worker in the know alleged that the Medical Director of the Randle General Hospital, Dr Aduke Odutayo, sneaked out Aishat after getting her test result.

The source stated, “The girl was originally directed to the hospital through the Ministry of Women Affairs, where her case was first reported.

“The ministry then informed the permanent secretary of the Health Service Commission. The permanent secretary later spoke to the Randle General Hospital MD, who gave instructions to the Head of Department, Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

“An emergency caesarean section was done on the girl without any personal protective equipment. That has been the status quo in the hospital since the beginning of the COVID-19; nobody has PPE.

“After delivery, she spent 10 days at the Maternal and Child Care Centre on admission, where various doctors and nurses attended to her.”

Another source noted that the plan was for Aishat to be taken to one of the shelters of the government, adding that the management of the centre insisted that a COVID-19 test be conducted on her first.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the result then returned positive.

The source added, “The MD, in collaboration with the HoD, sneaked her out of the hospital without the workers being aware of her COVID-19 status. That was how she got to the Gbagada Isolation Centre.

“The ambulance they used in conveying her was taken far away from the hospital. They used a private car to get her from the hospital to the COVID-19 ambulance.”

Our correspondent was told that after the news of the incident spread, workers at the hospital, including theatre nurses, anaesthetists and doctors, who had contact with her became apprehensive.

It was gathered that eight of them tested positive.

The source added, “The same day they did their tests, they were asked to return to work even when they had not seen their results. They were threatened that they could lose their jobs if they did not return to work.

“The workers were aggrieved that the result of the girl was hidden from them. Those, who tested positive, have been asked to go to the isolation centre.”

The MD of Randle General Hospital, Odutayo, declined reaction on the incident.

The Ministry of Youth and Social Development, in a statement on Sunday, said it was working with officials of the Lagos State Health Management Agency to manage Aishat’s case.

The Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr Segun Dawodu, said both the mother and child would be placed in a shelter where care would be given to them after their discharge from the isolation centre.

He advised parents to always take good care of their children, especially the female folks, who were vulnerable to different vices in the society, especially at this time when rape was on the increase.

Dawodu asked parents to desist from handing over their children to strangers, who take them to cities and use them as housemaids, or for other unscrupulous purposes.

The acting General Manager, LASHMA, Dr Emmanuella Zamba, said the agency would enrol both the mother and child in any state government health facility closer to the residence provided for them by the government.

The Coordinator, Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team, Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, said Aishat’s video was recorded by another COVID-19 patient at the isolation centre.

She noted that efforts were on to reunite her with trusted family members.

“The police have already commenced investigation into the sexual violence allegation,” she stated.

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