Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) has denied a claim that it demanded that charges be dropped against a dispatch rider who reportedly raped an 18-year-old girl before she is offered post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) treatment.
“At no point did any of our staff approach the woman to drop charges against the alleged rapist,” LUTH Management said in a statement.
“LUTH as a hospital has a well-documented policy on handling and supporting cases of rape, and we have handled many of such cases in the past.”
In the wave of many rape stories making it to the public space this week, a Nigerian on Twitter Temitope Bukola narrated how a dispatch rider allegedly raped one of her staff when he delivered an item to her shop in Lagos.
“This is the story of my staff and right now the dispatcher has absconded, we’ve been meeting dead ends everywhere and even LUTH said that they can’t administer PEP medication because we are pressing charges! They want us to drop the charges before she can be treated,” Bukola said in the tweet that trended.
She stated that all efforts to report the case to the police have proved abortive because “the DPO of police for Ilaje Police Station – (is) always “busy” everytime we’ve been there and according to them, the case hasn’t really been formerly lodged if the DPO isn’t aware of it.”
But LUTH said Bukola’s narration of the incident at the hospital was not the true account of what happened there.
The hospital acknowledged that “on the 4th of June 2020 at about 6pm, a middle-aged woman came to the Accident and Emergency (A/E) that her sales girl was reportedly raped by a dispatch rider who had come to deliver items to her shop.”
“She said she came to LUTH emergency so that post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) be administered to the young lady.”
LUTH said the rape victim was not physically presented to its officials before she was taken away from the hospital in the car that Bukola brought her in.
On reporting the incident, LUTH said the medical officer in Triage unit of the NE then proceeded to discuss the case with the Senior Registrar on duty in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G) section in Bukola’s presence.
The hospital said Bukola was informed that the PEP will be administered to the victim once she is formally registered in the hospital, while the legal aspect will be handled through an established legal process in Lagos State.
“At this point a slip for registration was written for the woman,” LUTH said “She then inquired if registration was FREE and she was informed that a fee was to be paid at the cash point.
“She also wanted to know if the PEP was FREE and was told that the pharmacy will give the information regarding the drugs and any cost attached once the lady is registered. She accepted the slip and then left the 0/6 consulting room while the doctors returned to their duties.”
LUTH said contrary to her account on Twitter, Bukola did not proceed to register the rape survivor and left with her without informing the doctors.
“The victim remained in the car throughout the encounter with the woman and none of our staff saw the victim before they both disappeared,” LUTH said.