Operatives of the Zone 5 of the Nigerian Police Force in Benin, Edo State, have busted an abortion syndicate that were said to have operated in the city undetected for several years.
Members of the syndicate, made up of a medical doctor and four nurses, who operate the illegal abortion clinic, Ofure Royal Medical Centre, located at Upper Uwa Street, Off Muritala Mohammed Way, Benin, were arrested by the police operatives last Wednesday.
A lifeless foetus, hospital equipment suspected to be abortion apparatus and other exhibits were recovered at the clinic during the raid on the clinic.
The doctor, Kingsley Omokhomion, and his partners in crime who were allegedly caught in the illegal act, were arrested and detained, following a tip-off from a pregnant woman who allegedly visited the clinic for a check-up, but had her pregnancy terminated by the syndicate.
The woman is presently lying critically ill in another hospital where she was rushed to after the clandestine act.
The acting Public Relations Officer of Zone 5, ASP Emeka Iheanacho, who confirmed the arrest and detention of the suspects, said the hospital had been on surveillance.
“We are investigating a case of abortion, the hospital has been on surveillance. All of them were arrested because they were involved in the act and they are telling us their involvement in the act.
“As I am talking to you the person involved is still laying critically ill in a hospital. Even some of our operatives in a disguise, went there that they want abortion. They booked them, charged them and issued them cards, not knowing that they were not there for abortion. So they have been on surveillance,” ASP Iheanacho disclosed.
The detained medical director, Dr. Kingsley Omokhomion, who absolved his hospital of the allegation of abortion, however said the woman suffered a miscarriage.
He explained that the patient was rushed to the hospital with severe vaginal bleeding, adding, “It is not abortion, it’s a case of miscarriage, the patient was rushed to my clinic with severe vaginal bleeding, the police already know.”
A legal expert informed the magazine that abortion is illegal in Nigeria, with a jail sentence of up to 14 years, unless it is performed to save the life of the pregnant woman.