By Charles Onyekwere.
A Chief Magistrate's court sitting in Enugu on Friday arraigned a medical doctor, Ikechukwu Okafor for unlawfully confining and detaining a nursing mother and her 16-month-old child in his private hospital at Abakpa, Enugu South Local Government Area for a year and four months.Dr. Okafor, a staff of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku Ozalla was charged to court for keeping the nursing mother, Chiamaka Ogbodo and her baby Kosisochukwu Ogbodo shortly after her delivery, and against their will.
Dr. Okafor was accused of depriving both mother and child of their personal liberty and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 316 of the 1999 Criminal Code, Cap 30.The doctor however pleaded not guilty to the charge and was granted bail at the cost of N100,000 by presiding Magistrate A. O. Eze.Addressing journalists at the end of the court session, the National Publicity Secretary of the Campaign for Democracy (CD), Dede Uzor A. Uzor, who reported the matter to the Police, expressed dissatisfaction with the way the matter was handled.
The Police tried to play a fast one by not informing the complainants that the accused was to be arraigned.They also refused to include other charges such as attempted rape and the accused refusal to immunise the baby while in detention thereby exposing him to danger.“We have lost confidence in the Garki Awkunanaw Enugu Police who are prosecuting the matter and hereby call on the Enugu Commissioner of Police to step into this matter and ensure that justice is done,” he said.The case has been adjourned to August 1 for trial.