A saudi-based Nigerian medical doctor has called on the Nigerian government to come to his aid following an allegation of assault levelled against him by one of his colleagues, for which he has been detained by the police in Saudi Arabia.
In a letter addressed to the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, which was copied to the Consulate General of Nigeria in Jeddah, Delta State-born Omafuvwe Jerome Ighowho, who has only been in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for about 23 months and works at the Tabalah General Hospital, Tabalah, Bisha City, Aseer region of the country, explained that prior to an unfortunate incident resulting in a minor injury on the right knee of his Sudanese colleague – Dr. Adel Idris – he had never been involved in any trouble.
He said the incident has led to him being held in custody in perpetuity with no help in sight despite his failing health.
The letter reads: “I am Omafuvwe Jerome Ighowho with passport number A12519900 and NIN 10418960616 Iquama 2492447301. I have been living in Saudi Arabia for about 23 months at Tabalah General Hospital, Tabalah, Bisha City, Aseer region.
“I am from Ughelli North LGA, Delta State and permanent address at House 28 Sheraton Estate Abulo Oko Agbado, Ogun State. +966533818972 and ±2347067624826.
“On July 30, 2022, I had an incident with my fellow Sudanese doctor. After resumption of duty, I decided to greet other doctors who were to work with me for the shift.
“Then I saw Dr. Adel Idris and another Dr Isiah Awuri. I was explaining to Dr. Isiah that Dr. Adel Idris normally come to work late and that day he also came late. Then Dr. Adel Idris approached me and was saying why would I say he comes to work late.
“He said this with laughter and jokes but he held my two arms. I was laughing and also held him the same manner as I was thrown off balance because of the firm grip from Adel (the Sudanese doctor) just to attain a good balance.
“We were both laughing and I then pushed him back to release myself from him as Dr. Isiah (my Nigerian colleague) kept saying we should stop this rough play.
“Unfortunately, he struck his leg on the wall and fell down after which I assisted him up onto an examination bed. Thereafter, he said his knees were hurt and had an X-ray which showed he had a less than 2cm fracture on the right knee.
“Dr. Isiah observed what happened that we were not involved in a scuffle but a friendly encounter. Also, Dr. Mai, a female Sudanese doctor, briefly saw we were joking and walked away.
“About some hours later, Dr. Adel Idris came with police, claiming that I assaulted him. I asked him did I assault you? He said No, then why call police?
“He never answered. This was on several occasions. On explaining to the hospital management, they understood the situation and pleaded with him not to go forward with his complaint, but he insisted.
“The whole hospital management and Sudanese community have pleaded and even offered him financial compensation, change of hospital and job description, but he declined all.
“Moreover, the policemen at the station also pleaded with him to resolve this issue amicably, but he declined. At this point, everyone has been trying to get to him to plead with him. Yet he is nowhere to be found neither does he pick his calls nor respond to messages.
“I have been in police custody for days with no progress on the issue. My health has been affected and no one to assist me as I do not know anyone in the community and even Saudi as a whole.
“I am pleading with the Nigerian Government, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa and the Nigerian in Diaspora Commission to intercede on my behalf so that I can have a quick resolution to this matter and attend to my health.
“I am frustrated with the situation, as I am deteriorating physically and mentally in the cell. Please assist me swiftly.”