, 12 May, 2020 / 2:25 AM
An official of Nigeria’s Archdiocese of Lagos has responded to claims that the staff at St. Raphael Divine Mercy Specialist Hospital in the country’s largest city, Lagos stole and sold off a twin baby soon after delivery, dismissing the allegations as “baseless and unsubstantiated.”
The claims were made by 31-year-old Faith Obinna and her husband, Obinna Alo who accused the hospital staff of stealing one of their babies soon after caesarean section delivery that took place March 6, according to local media reports in Africa’s most populous nation.
“We wish to stress here that our Hospital (St. Raphael Divine Mercy Specialist Hospital, Ikorodu, Lagos) maintains that the allegations and accusations are untrue, baseless and unsubstantiated,” the Director of Social Communications of the Archdiocese of Lagos, Fr. Anthony Godonu has stated in a Monday, May 11 press statement.
Fr. Anthony clarified that the press statement became necessary “because of the incessant threats and financial demands of the hospital made by this couple for their claims to be assuaged.”
In the one-page statement posted on the Archdiocese of Lagos Facebook page, the Nigerian cleric clarifies that while it is true that Mrs. Obinna delivered at the mission hospital, “it is not true” that she had given birth to twins.
On her part, Mrs. Obinna has claimed that three scans done at the hospital prior to the delivery showed that she was carrying twins and that the staff stole one of the twins upon delivery, while she was still under the effects of anesthesia.
“I don’t know why the couple is bent on dragging the hospital down because of a human error,” the Priest in-charge of St. Raphael Divine Mercy Specialist Hospital, Fr. Joe Ben has been quoted as saying.
According to Dr. U. Uzoma, a consultant gynecologist who led the team that facilitated the delivery of Obinna's baby, the claims were as a result of a confusion around prenatal ultrasound scans.
“While the scan was ongoing, Obinna said the previous scan revealed two babies, which necessitated inviting the male staff who conducted the first scan, to take a look,” Dr. Uzoma has been quoted as saying, adding, “The male staff said he saw two foetuses, while the female staff argued that it was one.”
The medical doctor added, “The female staff asked him to write the report of the scan, which she signed without informing any of the doctors.”
Unfortunately, the doctor explained, when Mrs. Obinna did her third scan by the male staff, two foetuses were confirmed, and the hospital worked with the scan report to prepare for two deliveries.
“She was delivered of one baby and immediately we brought her husband into the theatre to see for himself while she was still open,” Dr. Uzuoma explained and added, “He wasn’t surprised because the first scan she did elsewhere confirmed one.”
The couple has since filed a petition and criminal complaint with the Criminal Investigation Department, Force Headquarters Annex, Alagbon, against the Hospital.
In his May 11 statement, the Social Communications Director of Lagos Archdiocese confirmed that the hospital had recorded a statement with the police, to aid in the investigations.
The Nigerian Cleric requested “the understanding and patience of all good people who have shown so much concern and all those who truly desire to know nothing but the truth, that we leave the matter for now pending the outcome of the report of the authorities of the State.”
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa