Oyo State House of Assembly on Tuesday appealed to the state government to exempt victims of rape from paying the mandatory N5000 fee for obtaining medical report in government hospitals.
This was sequel to a motion titled: “Need to Stop Request for Payment of N5000 for medical reports from rape victims and defilement in Oyo State” moved by member representing Ogbomoso North in the assembly, Hon. Wumi Oladeji.
Oladeji noted that young girls, who have been sexually assaulted in the state, were made to bear the costs of testing and obtaining medical report when they report to authorities.
According to her, this has caused rape and other issues of defilement of the girl-child to persist because not many of the victim’s parents could afford the fee.
Oladeji said, “Rape or defilement against the girl-child are on the increase day by day.
“In the process of prosecuting offenders of rape, there is need for victims to obtain a medical report from hospitals as a vital document for evidence to assist during prosecution of such offenders.
“It is now compulsory in all government hospitals within the state for rape victims reporting to the police to pay a sum of N5000 to obtain medical reports.
“However, most of these victims especially the young girls cannot afford this amount.
“If government does not exempt child victims of rape or defilement from the compulsory payment of N5000 for obtaining medical reports from hospitals as evidence for prosecution, perpetrators of these evil and criminal acts would continue to escape justice and such acts would continue to increase in our society,” she said.
Another lawmaker, Hon. Fatai Adesina, who commended Oladeji for the motion, stressed that the motion adequately represented public interest.
Adesina said that the payment of N5000 by a rape victim in order to obtain medical report was tantamount to subjecting the victim to double jeopardy.
According to him, victims of rape often experience hardship in the aftermath of their attack and should not be subjected to further difficulties by being charged for medical services related to rape.
His colleague from Oyo East/Oyo West, Hon. Muideen Olagunju said that the policy of payment of N5000 was a breach of the Child Rights Law of Oyo State.
Olagunju said “Section 15 (3b) of the law expressly stated that the Oyo State government shall ensure the provision of necessary medical assistance and healthcare services to all children.
“In accordance to this law, demanding N5000 from victims or their parents is a violation”.
Speaker of the House, Hon. Michael Adeyemo consequently urged the executive arm of the state government to put machinery in motion to give full effect to the Child Rights Law passed by the Assembly.