The Special Independent Investigative Panel on Human Rights Violations in Counter-Insurgency Operations in the North-East has visited the Borno State Specialist Hospital.
The panel is conducting an investigation into alleged human rights violations committed by the Nigerian military, as reported by the international news agency, Reuters.
The Reuters report alleged that since 2013, the military has been running a “secret, systematic, and illegal abortion programme” in the north-east of the country. The programme ended at least 10,000 pregnancies among women and girls, it said.
When the Panel questioned the Medical Director, Dr Baba Shehu Mohammed, he said he was shocked by how many women and girls were said to have had abortions, as well as the allegations of sexual and gender-based violence.
On the story’s claim that the Hospital was involved in the “secret abortion programme”, Dr Mohammed said: “No public hospital will do that.”
The doctor did say, though, that the hospital “takes care of miscarriages and allows women to have medical abortions”.
This is done to “save the lives of women who are pregnant and have a serious health complications”, he said.
Writing by Tanimu Muhammed; Editing by Saadatu Albashir and Tony Okerafor