Sexually Abused & Impregnated: Sad Tale Of 12-Year-Old Ilobekemen Omijie Who Gave Birth To Premature Baby

Ilobekemen Omijie had already become a target for paedophiles at eight years. She was eventually raped by one of them, a man old enough to be her father or even her grandfather.

Afterwards, other depraved men in her neighbourhood could not bear to keep their hands off her young and tender body. One after the other, they pretended to send her on errands only to end up luring her into their beds and sexually abusing her, PUNCH reports.

At first, the minor, frightened, confused and helpless, could only watch each time these men ravaged her body. Once or twice, when she could no longer bear the pain and humiliation, she had tried to complain, but she was quickly hushed by adults who were too ignorant and emotionally distant to understand that she was passing through hell.

Ilobekemen became pregnant, just as she turned 12. Of course, any of her serial rapists might have been responsible for the pregnancy. Unfortunately the pregnancy resulted in some complications, such as hypertension and convulsion.

Fortunately the young girl’s predicament caught the attention of the Chief Medical Officer of Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital in Irrua, Edo State, Prof Sylvanus Okogbenin, who immediately took up her case after settling her hospital bills from the Indigent Patient Fund.

Explaining why he appointed a committee to take care of the girl and her unborn baby, in an interview with our correspondent, Okogbenin said:

“Although she was presented like every other patient, I had to intervene when her case reached a difficult stage. I learnt that she was 12 years-old, serially raped, suffering from some serious complications of pregnancy and indigent.

“I had to approve the sum of N300,000 from our Indigenty Patient’s Fund for her treatment. We urged the consultant to manage her carefully. Of course, it was a multi disciplinary kind of approach, since she was pregnant.

“She had what is called eclampsia, which is a complication that affects pregnant girls of her age. She was also having convulsion. What this meant was that her life and that of her unborn child were in danger.

“One of our doctors was able to stabilise her condition and delivered the baby.

“The baby was born premature and so we had to give her special care. I am pleased to say that the baby is doing well and the young mother also has improved dramatically. I saw her yesterday and I am happy with her progress.

“We needed to bring in the psychological team because of the stress she had gone through. She had some psychological issues that needed to be dealt with and, of course, we had to invite medical social workers to develop the social issues.

“Now that she is getting better and beginning to think of her future, I have inaugurated a committee comprising our doctors, the social workers, the psychologist and the paediatrician to look at her holistic treatment and management even after discharging her to ensure that this does not happen again.”

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Having successfully dealt with Ilobekemen’s case, the hospital management found itself facing another challenge. The girl’s siblings, both of them male and female, had been admitted to the hospital. Her younger brother was being treated for protein energy malnutrition, also known as ‘Kwashiorkor’ and the hospital was expected to settle the bill, too.

Although some public spirited individuals have made some modest contributions for the welfare and upkeep of Ilobekemen, her child and siblings, there is still a need to take care of her future. The hospital hopes that the committee will holistically look at her issue and come up with ways to assist her.

The Chairman of the committee set up by the hospital for the total rehabilitation of Ilobekemen, Dr Angela Odike, described the girl’s case at the initial stage as a sad one.

“It was a very sad situation. She was hypertensive.  When she came in, she started convulsing because her young body couldn’t handle the pregnancy, the hormone and everything. For a long time we had to treat her for hypertension. So it is sad because she is just a child. She is not even a teenager yet,” she said.

SEE ALSO: 12-Year-Old Nigerian Orphan And Rape Victim, Masenengen Targba, Welcomes Child

According to Odike, the committee was set up to take care of the girl and her child and to work with a non-governmental organisation to care for her after leaving the hospital.

The committee was also saddled, she added, with the responsibility of helping Ilobekemen’s younger siblings who were both 10 and five years-old, respectively.

 “The girl and her siblings had lost their parents. In fact, their mother died in this hospital two years ago and nobody came to take her body for burial.

“As a committee, we tried to find out what happened to the body. There is a policy in the hospital, which requires us to dispose of bodies that were not claimed every six months. Since nobody came for the woman’s body, she was buried alongside other bodies,” Odike said.

Dr Odike also disclosed that the committee had investigated Ilobekemen’s background and come up with a startling discovery, which directly connected with the girl’s condition.

According to the investigation, Ilobekemen’s mother lived with her own mother after the breakup of her first marriage. She did not remarry, but cohabited with other men and bore children for them until she died after her last childbirth.

The late woman’s first cousin, who already had five children, took custody of Ilobekemen and her siblings. While Ilobekemen was living with her mum’s first cousin, she became pregnant. The girl had been placed in the care of a pastor who sexually abused her.

At a point, she also lived with a native doctor whose wife was sick and he, too, started abusing her sexually. She informed the man’s wife about it, but nothing was done. The matter was eventually reported to the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and the three men were arrested.

The three suspects, who were identified as 30-year-old pastor, Joseph Arudamhe; 59-year-old herbalist, Ohue Otaifo; and 30-year-old Ambrose Okohere, have all confessed to repeatedly having carnal knowledge of the innocent girl.

A source at NAPTIP, on the condition of anonymity, confirmed the arrest of the three suspects, who were also been granted bail. She refused to comment on the matter on the pretext that investigation is still in progress.

However, the source confirmed that the matter had already been charged to the Federal High Court in Benin City, capital of Edo State, and hearing had been scheduled for November 19, 2019.

While Ilobekemen awaits justice to take its course in the matter, she remains in the care of the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, which is trying to map out a suitable future for her, her new born baby and her siblings.

Although the hospital has expressed its appreciation to public-spirited individuals who have extended their hands of love and help to the girl, Odike wants members of the public to do more for her in terms of rehabilitation.

“Like Oliver Twist, we are asking you for more. We really need to help these little ones to enjoy the good side of life. They have already seen the bad side, but we can tell Ilobekemen that life is not actually what those men made her to think it was. The girl is already psychologically affected by her sad experience,” she said.

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