By Tata Mbunwe
The Director of the Muyuka District Hospital, in Fako division, South West region, Dr Kingsley Ebang, is reported to have been dragged to court over accusations of raping is subordinate. The matter is said to be at the level of a court in Buea.
The accused was said to be in court Tuesday, February 1, alongside the victim and two witnesses. The father of the lady in question is reported to have testified about the incident.
In court, Doctor Ebang is said to have maintained that he did not rape the young girl. His lawyer, Senior Barrister Eta Bissong, is said to have drilled the victim’s witnesses to see if there was an iota of truth in what they were saying.
The alleged rape incident is said to have happened on May 21, 2021, at the doctor’s office. The narrative goes that this young girl, who had just completed one-year nursing assistance training in Buea, had sought for a temporary job at the hospital.
On this fateful day, the doctor is said to have called her to his office to “conduct some abdominal test” on her. The young girl is quoted as having said, she had not been sick, but the doctor had insisted that this was how he tested female employees in his facility.
It was during this moment that the young woman said, she was raped. A medical certificate established after the alleged rape said there was no evidence of rape as no wounds were found on her external genitalia.
Barrister Eta, with 44 years of experience at the bar, is counsel for the accused, while two state lawyers are standing for the victim.In court, the legal arguments are said to have been heated.
Section 307 of Cameroon’s Criminal Procedure Code states that the burden of prove lies on the person who initiates a criminal action, in this case, the rape-claim victim.
Also, Section 8(1&2) of the Criminal Procedure Code grants the accused Doctor the right to be presumed innocent until when proven guilty.
In an off-the-mic conversations, the witnesses and the victim are said to have insisted that there was rape. The case, we gathered, was adjourned to Tuesday, March 1, 2022. On this day, two other witnesses to the alleged rape, including a human rights advocate are expected to also testify against Doctor.
Human rights advocates have been following the case and they said they are convinced that there was rape. If found guilty, Dr Ebang could serve between five and 10 years in prison, based on Section 226 of Cameroon’s Penal Code.
Section 298 of the said Code says this penalty could be doubled because the accused is a public servant and is said to have had authority over the supposed victim, because she was his subordinate.
Sexual and gender-based violence incidents have been on the rise especially in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon amid the five-yea armed conflict in the regions.
Between February and December 2020, the UN says there were 4,300 incidents of sexual and gender-based violence in the two regions. This was up from just 1,065 cases reported in 2019, 289 of which involved sexual abuse.