A medical doctor, Ikari Jolly has been accused of manhandling his wife, Naomi Jolly, an accountant at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital over her refusal to circumcise their daughter.
The doctor who hails from Khana local government area of Rivers State has, however, insisted that circumcising female children in his family is usually a mandatory tradition, which he cannot afford not to sustain but denied the allegation .
The wife had approached the police and Cross River State Ministry of Justice, alleging that Dr Jolly has turned her into a punching bag since 2015 when the daughter was born because she refused to allow the baby be subjected to such harmful practice of circumcision because she herself survived it by luck.
She said all attempt by a team of mediators from Cross River State Ministry of Justice, to resolve the issue has further elicited more battery as she told the team of police interrogators that when she was subjected to female genital mutilation, and almost bled to death years ago.
“It all started in December 2015 when I gave birth to my daughter, Amanda. After delivery, my husband asked me what I know about female circumcision and I told him I don’t like it at all. I narrated my own experience to him. That was when I was 12 years. My parents did it and I bled to the point of death. So I said to him that I will not want anyone to have such an experience.
“He said that’s why he wants our daughter to have it done immediately after birth, according to him, to avoid unnecessary bleeding when she’s grown up.
“I begged him not to allow our daughter go through such a harrowing experience but he refused so I screamed and cried, telling him that I was a victim. I pleaded with him but he said my opinion does not count.
He said it’s a tradition in his family to circumcise any girl child born into their family.
“Right from that moment, the marriage became a turbulent one with a lot of battery, humiliation and threats to life. Just to be safe from his ill-mannered treatment, I made a promise to him that when I have another child I may allow her to do it just to save my life.
Most times I’ll be beaten to the point of unconsciousness.
“December 2016, when my daughter clocked one, I asked for a first Birthday party but he refused. Being my first child, I objected and went on with my baby’s first Birthday preparation. He got angry, destroyed all the things I got for the party, threw them away, got me battered, using the iron on his belt to flog me.
“Not being able to bear the constant beating, in July 2019, we went to the Ministry of Justice, Calabar where we both signed a memorandum of understanding yet the problem was not solved.
“I ran out of the state to Akwa Ibom State. He still came after me to take away my daughter. I left there to Abuja he still came after me. I ran to Lagos his brothers discovered where I was. They came and I made problems with them. After some time they came back with my husband and he beat me up to coma just to get the girl”, he said.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Ajala Benjamin, Admin-Officer, to the Commissioner of Police, Cross River State, who confirmed the matter said the case is presently being investigated at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID).