The Yobe State Specialist Hospital, Damaturu, said it did not record any case of sexual assaults among women and girls handed over to it by soldiers after their rescue from insurgents.
The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, Dr Aisha Adamu Buba made this known at the facility when the Chairman and members of the Special Independent Investigative Panel on Human Rights Violations in Counter Insurgency Operations in the North East visited to verify Reuters’ report.
Reuters News Agency had in 2022 released a three-part report alleging that the Nigerian military since 2013 was involved in a secret, systematic and illegal abortion of 10,000 pregnancies, infanticide and other forms of Sexual and Gender Based Violence in the North East.
The CMD told the 7-Member panel chaired by Justice Abdu Aboki (rtd), that the hospital under her watch offers first aid services to returnees, while those that require referrals were sent to other hospitals to manage severe cases such as fractures.
Responding to a question by the general counsel of the panel, Mr Hilary Ogbonna, about the usage of prescription drugs like oxytocin and misoprostol, the obstetrician gynecologist said the hospital uses such drugs strictly on doctor’s prescription, adding that the hospital basically runs clinical services and conducts few deliveries totaling about 248 per annum.
Other personnel of the Hospital who testified before the visiting investigative panel are the Head of Pharmacy Department, Modi Ali Gambo, Head of Nursing Services Department, Abdullahi Madu Bririma, Head Laboratory Services Department, Abdullahi Ago and the Mortician, Adamu Haruna.
Also testifying before the panel, the Medical Director of Yobe State University Teaching Hospital, Damaturu, Dr Baba Waru Goni said that the Military exhibited high sense of responsibility and professionalism even in the face of provocation by the insurgents.
He said that the three-part report released by Reuters should be taken with a pitch of salt.
Goni said that the Nigerian Military has supported the return of peace in the North East and it could not have been possible for them to indulged in such alleged abuses.
When asked by the panel if bad elements in the army can partake in such acts of 10,000 abortions, the Medical Director said in any organization there could be bad elements but he has not received any report of abortion of pregnancies by the Military from anyone since his years of practice at the hospital till date.
“I am not holding brief for the Nigerian Army, but I think they are highly professional and responsible and they also have their rules of engagement, to say they can commit such a crime is surprising to me”
Goni who has been in the medical practice for over 25 years with numerous qualifications said, the Nigerian Military has reunited countless repentant Boko Haram fighters with members of their communities.