Goodness Adeosun, a medical student at the University College Hospital (UCH) and an entrepreneur, was raped twice on her 21st birthday. Medical and forensic examinations confirm so, as well as admittance of guilt by the perpetrator. However, because the offender was a medical practitioner at UCH, the victim is being denied justice, writes Kolajo Onasoga.
On the night of December 9, 2019, when Goodness Adeosun was to celebrate her 21st birthday, her friends aired her. She had gotten a cake and invited a few friends for a hangout. They all gave excuses for not being available. That night, sad and dejected, she made a post on her Whatsapp status wishing her birthday quickly ended.
In 2018, Adeosun had spent her 20th birthday in a psychiatric hospital after she was raped by a neighbour, a student of the University of Ibadan. When she reported what happened to the university authorities, she was told to move on and forget the case. This had affected her mental health and she was admitted at University College Hospital, Ibadan (UCH) as a patient suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Her 21st birthday was supposed to be more cheerful. She had hoped it would be. When she updated her Whatsapp status, Dr. Olugbenga Anthony, a junior resident doctor at the University of Ibadan College Hospital who has relocated to the United Kingdom, viewed it and suggested taking her out for a drink.
At 8pm, Dr. Olugbenga was standing in front of her hostel. Adeosun had come out with series of past question papers, she had a class to equally prepare for the next day. But for now, she needed to clear her head and talk about how she felt.
HOTEL 411, BODIJA
On their way to grab a drink, Dr Olugbenga suggested they go to a bar at Hotel 411 Bodija, Ibadan, as it was less rowdy. After they drank and spoke for a while, Adeosun requested to leave. She wanted to prepare for the class she was retaking. But Dr Olugbenga offered to help her revise for the course. While revising, he said he would give her a kiss for any question she answered correctly. This was an idea Adeosun rejected immediately. Suddenly, Dr Olugbenga grabbed her and started kissing her. Adeosun was unable to release herself from his grasp.
Adeosun first met Dr. Olugbenga on the 7th of December 2019. She had come late to class and missed ward round. Dr. Lawal, a Senior Resident doctor, directed her to Dr Olugbenga to be updated on what she missed that day. When they were done with the lessons, she explained that she had come late because she had to attend to the deliveries of customers.
Part of Adeosun’s dream was to become a successful doctor and one of the best shoe designers in the world. When she got admitted to the University of Ibadan to study Medicine, she felt closer to her goal. Her shoes were being sold across the country.
“He asked to see some of the designs I had made. After I showed him, he picked a design for his wife but wasn’t sure of her size, so he asked for my number to text his wife’s size later on,” she says.
They exchanged numbers and went to get a meal at the cafeteria in the hospital residence.
Prior to that night, Dr. Olugbenga had made comments about Adeosun’s body that made her feel uncomfortable. “I waved them off thinking they were nothing… maybe a mere compliment and I was overthinking. But now I know better,” she says.
When he forcefully kissed her, she tried explaining to him that she long made a decision to be celibate, and that something tugged at her conscience every time her parents preached about virginity. Adeosun grew up in a religious middle-class family. Her family was rooted in the doctrines of the Deeper Life Bible Church, and shunned any “ungodly” or “immoral” acts. The first time Adeosun was admitted to a psychiatric ward, her father, a doctor, and mother, a nurse, discharged her against medical advice to take her for deliverance.
The second time she was raped (this time by Dr. Olugbenga) and admitted to a psychiatric ward, her parents discharged her against medical advice again. Her father questioned if she was the only one they saw on earth to rape. And her mother insisted that if she had prayed enough, she wouldn’t have been raped.
Due to a strained relationship with her family, she was unable to receive adequate medical care and social support and had to source funds for her medical care from strangers.
‘RE-RAPED’ AT THE BAR
On the night of her birthday, as she struggled to free herself from the grasp of Dr. Olugbenga, she told him of a terrible discharge she was still treating. But Dr. Olugbenga laid her down on the bar chair, unbuckled his belt, lay on top and held her legs together with his knees. She cried and begged, but all he kept saying was ‘‘don’t worry, forget about it, I love you…Just try to enjoy it”. When he saw she wasn’t cooperating, he got angry and carried her on top of him.
“As you can see, I look very small and I am kind of cachexia, I weigh 45kg and he weighs roughly 87kg, so you can imagine how powerless I was. I was so powerless. I was weak. I tried to scream but it was as if I had lost every strength in me to do so.”
As she cried, all she could mutter was “please stop”. He responded by saying “stop struggling, I have to release”. Dr. Olugbenga did not use a condom, putting Adeosun at risk of sexually transmitted infection.
When he finished the act, nobody was around the bar. The shops beside the bar had closed and the bar lights were dim blue. It was 10 pm. A man who was in the bar had left when the revision started. “I shouted but no one heard me,” she says. “I fought him with all the strength I had in me, but it turned futile because I was eventually overpowered.”
Adeosun says when he was done washing himself outside after the forced sex, the first question he asked while she was still in tears was: “Do you want us to continue the revision?”
“I told him no,” she says. “I wanted to go to my hostel.”
Adeosun could not walk with her legs closed together due to the inflammation she was treating. After they got into his car, Dr Olugbenga, realizing how much pain she was in, decided to book a hotel room for her for the night. She Iinitially refused staying back at the hotel but after much persuasion from him, she agreed. After he booked a room for her, he called two of the hotel workers from the reception to come help her up to the room, while he set out to get pain relief drugs for her.
Few minutes after she got into the room, Dr Olugbenga came back but without the drugs. He went into the toilet and came out half-naked. He asked her to join him on the bed so as to feel her warmth. Immediately Adeosun realized he was going to be spending the night in the room with her, she burst into tears and coiled herself to the ground at a corner of the room.
He dragged her to the bed, held her hands and raped her again. When he saw she wasn’t breathing properly, he stopped and masturbated afterwards.
Unable to get help from anyone, Adeosun was forced to stay back in the room until 5am when he drove her down to her hostel. Throughout the night, she couldn’t sleep.
When Dr Adeola Olugbenga, one of the friends Adeosun called to pick that night, confronted Dr Olugbenga about raping Adeosun, Dr Olugbenga said he acted that way because he thought Adeosun wanted it. And he also thought she was just “forming” for him, but when he realized she was not breathing properly, he stopped.
When FIJ contacted Dr. Adeola, he declined to speak, saying he couldn’t do so without the permission of the provost of UCH.
REFUSAL TO ATTEND TO A RAPE VICTIM
When she got home, Adesoun threw away her cake. She did not take her bath or take off the cloth she wore from the previous night. She wept and vomited all day until Toyin (not real name) came into the room later in the evening, and took her to the University College Hospital (UCH) for tests.
Dr Olufiade Adeniran-Oyerogba was on duty. When Adeosun told her she had been raped by Dr. Olugbenga, she said: “I can’t attend to you, this matter is a legal one and it involves my colleague; I’m sorry.”
She gave Adeosun paracetamol and recommended some pain relievers to use before sending her off. When Dr Oyerogba was contacted by FIJ, she claimed not to know what was being asked and hung up the phone.
Adeosun’s consultant contacted her on December 11, 2020, after hearing of the incident from a colleague, and took her to a gynaecologist. Sperm was found inside her and on the trouser she wore that night.
She was admitted to the hospital and was given post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to prevent possible exposure to HIV. She developed migraine because of the effect of the drug on her, which made her start taking tramadol every day to stop the migraine.
THE SYSTEMATIC COVER-UP BY UCH DEPSITE FORENSIC EVIDENCE
At the hospital, Dr Osasogie Iyayi visited Adeosun. Adeosun had never met Dr Iyayi and didn’t know what she wanted until she asked Adeosun what she wanted as a compensation to keep her mouth shut about the rape.
When FIJ contacted Dr Iyayi, she claimed she visited Adeosun at the hospital to sympathise with her in the capacity of the Financial Secretary of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), which, by the way, Dr. Olugbenga belonged to.
Adeosun was transferred to the psychiatric ward, missing out on her final posting test, which meant she had to repeat the class again for the second time.
On January 9, 2020, a panel was set up to investigate the rape allegations against Dr Olugbenga. The panel consisted of the Provost of the University College Hospital, Professor Olayinka Omigbodun; the University lawyer; two social workers and a student representative, Irete Obaitan.
When Adeosun faced the panel, she was inundated with questions like why she wasn’t wearing pants that night if she knew she did not want something to do with Dr Olugbenga, how she knew the meaning of doggy if she wasn’t a promiscuous person, why the people she called to pick her up after she was raped were mostly guys, how she got money to get an iPhone. None of the questions offered her any hope for justice. They were questions that sought to further diminish her.
On January 27, 2020, the panel was adjourned but it has not met due to Covid-19. Dr Iyayi told FIJ that the panel’s decision (which is not yet known to the parties and the public) is that “there was no rape”. The panel advised Adeosun to attend to her mental health issues and also said they would punish Dr Olugbenga appropriately for having sexual intercourse with a medical student, but not for rape.
NO JUSTICE MORE THAN A YEAR AFTER
Adeosun has been fighting the battle alone. She made a thread on Twitter accusing UCH of withholding her medical test results. The UCH provost was outraged at the bad publicity the hospital was getting. But several comments under Adeosun’s thread showed that Dr Olugbenga had a history of sexual harassment.
Adeosun’s thread led to various reactions, including being told to pull down the thread by a popular Twitter user, Gbenga Wemimo-Samuel, who introduced himself as a lawyer from Sola Adio, another Twitter user popularly known as ‘Uncle Sola’. Few days later, Wemimo-Samuel made a thread on Twitter saying Adeosun made the first move and consented to sleeping with Dr Olugbenga. His thread insinuated that Adeosun lied about being raped and was merely looking to tarnish Dr Olugbenga’s image.
“It made me hopeless,” Adeosun said of Wemimo-Samuel’s thread. “I prayed that day like never before, because I felt like since he had 100k followers on Twitter and was a popular pastor, he had a lot of influence on people.”
Wemimo-Samuel told FIJ that after hearing both sides of the story, he believed Adeosun was telling a lie. He stressed on the fact that he never knew Dr Olugbenga and got to know him from Uncle Sola.
FIJ reached out to Uncle Sola, his explanation was different from Wemimo-Samuel’s. He said Wemimo-Samuel knew Dr Olugbenga and they had both reached out to him to plead with Adeosun to put down the thread and drop the case. He denied asking Wemimo-Samuel to talk to Adeosun.
“I want to categorically state that I never knew this individual to be a lawyer and I never sent him or any lawyer to Goodness Adeosun to prevail on her to drop the case,” he said. “That was a very BIG lie. I also never knew Dr Olugbenga from anywhere in my life till allegations surfaced.”
When FIJ reached out to Dr Olugbenga, he said he did not rape her but admitted to having “consensual sex” with her. He also said there was a “99 percent chance” that he would sue Adeosun for false accusing him of rape and tarnishing his image.
Dr Olugbenga also said that Adeosun’s mother knew the truth about the incident and asked that we contact her. However, when FIJ did, she denied Dr Olugbenga’s claim of Adeosun telling a lie. She added, though, that she was open to an amicable resolution of the matter between both parties, knowing the slow dispensation of justice in Nigeria.
“My husband and I have been battling with a case in the court for 15 good years; it’s been one big frustrating roller coaster,” she said.
“That case alone has drained life out of my family, I don’t think I have any energy left to pursue another court case when we know that at the end of the day, it is he who has money that will win the case.”
“Most times I hate myself for being small,” Adeosun told FIJ.
“Just maybe if I wasn’t this small, I wouldn’t have been taken advantage of or seen as vulnerable. I am not fine, I am dying slowly, I soak my pillows with tears every night,”
“Is it a crime to be a woman? Is it a crime to live alone? Is it a crime to go out to celebrate a birthday? I hate that the male gender always finds a way out around everything. It’s suffocating knowing I haven’t gotten justice when it’s possible to get it.”
One in five women and one in 71 men have, and would be raped at some point. In the last eight months, more than 700 rape cases have been reported all over the country and only very few of the perpetrators have been convicted. This is the story of many rape victims in Nigeria, just one being Goodness Adeosun.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include Sola Adio’s refuttal of Dr. Olugbenga’s claims about him, as well as testimonies by Adeosun’s mum and Dr. Olugbenga’s threats to sue Adeosun, the journalist and FIJ.
Be the first to receive special investigative reports and features in your inbox.