An elderly woman, Mrs. Florence Omotehinwa, has been accused of bundling her 40-year-old daughter, Mrs. Toyin Ndiomu, in a psychiatric hospital for attending “an unconventional” church.
The victim, who is a mother of two and had been separated from her husband because of domestic violence attends Jordan Ministries, Opebi, Lagos. And was abducted on January 12, 2013, at 25 Joel Ogunnaike Street, while she was celebrating her 40th birthday.
A legal consultant with Project Alert on Violence Against Women, Mr. Benjamin Odeh, said,
“On that day, Mrs. Omotehinwa and Ndiomu’s estranged husband came with two women, naval personnel and two armed policemen. They seized the victim, pushed her into a vehicle and sped off.”
He said the victim was taken to Farri Psychiatric Hospital, where she was being kept incommunicado.
When PUNCH Metro visited the hospital located on Gbaja Street, Surulere, the matron denied our correspondent access to Ndiomu, saying that she had been given strict orders by her mother not to allow visitors to have access to her.
The matron, who did not identify herself, said,
“This is not a conventional hospital, it is a hospital for patients with mental illnesses and as such we cannot allow just anybody to see her.
“Her mother said no one should be allowed to see her and we are standing by that instruction. We don’t know anything about abduction; our own responsibility is to treat patients.”
“Since my daughter started attending that church, her life has not been the same. She is now distant from the entire family to the extent that she now addresses me as Mrs. Omotehinwa, not mummy.
“That church is a cult, they hold their services at 6am on Saturday and they kiss their pastor on his hands and feet to greet him. Almost all the women there are divorced. They even changed my daughter’s name to Ifeanyichukwu Ndwukwe“As her mother, I have done nothing wrong by bringing her to this hospital because I have her best interest at heart. She is the second of my four children and I raised all of them singlehanded after their father, a Rear Admiral, was killed 17 years ago.”
Omotehinwa however said her daughter had no history of mental illness.
...But Dr.LA Farri, who owns the hospital said,
“I am an expert and a London-trained neuropsychiatric and I have been practising for over 25 years. I was Chief consultant neuropsychiatric at the General Hospital, so I know my onions.
“The victim was treated a few years ago at Yaba Psychiatric Hospital after showing signs of mental illness.“Section 10 of the Nigerian constitution empowers me to hold anyone that seems unfit mentally. The police have already sent me a letter on the matter and I will respond.”