The Nigerian Army Reference Hospital on Thursday confirmed a woman who raised alarm on social media about her confinement is receiving treatment at its facility.
Ify Otuya, a singer and songwriter, cried out on her Facebook page Wednesday morning.
Ms. Otuya said she was held captive at the Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, after being allegedly abducted by her family over a month ago.
“I’m still being held here against my will, even after four weeks! If there’s still a responsible press in this country, you now know where to find me,” Ms. Otuya said. “They’re denying me access to my lawyer. Come and visit me friends —I would love to talk to you.”
Ms. Otuya’s post lit up the social media on Wednesday, spreading to Twitter where people were quick to condemn her family.
But Umar Adamu, the Public Relations Officer for the Army Medical Corps, said claims that Ms. Otuya was abducted were untrue.
Mr. Adamu told PREMIUM TIMES Ms. Otuya was brought to the facility by her family after showing signs of mental health crisis.
“I made some findings and discovered that the woman was taken to our psychiatric hospital in Yaba by her father after the family noticed some abnormal signs,” Mr. Adamu said.
Mr. Adamu said Ms. Otuya’s confinement was done within legal ambience.
“The hospital is holding her because of her health which is not against the law,” Mr. Umar said. “Nigerians should not be worried because she’s safe where she is and her family members are there with her.”
Mr. Adamu said Ms. Otuya will be discharged as soon as her treatment regimen is completed.
“Once she gets all the treatments as prescribed by the experts in the hospital, she will be released and will have her normal life back.”
Ms. Otuya first took her matter to the public in August.
“I’m currently being held at a psychiatric hospital in Yaba by the police and Emeka Ossai (and other men in my family) against my will. Isn’t Lagos fun?” Ms. Otuya said in the August 16 post on her Facebook page.
The mention of Emeka Ossai sparked speculation on social media and blogs that Ms. Otuya was referring to the Nollywood actor and filmmaker.
But Mr. Ossai told PREMIUM TIMES that he was not the individual.
“I have become helpless since yesterday as different people say all sorts of things to me over a woman I clearly don’t know or ever heard of before now,” Mr. Ossai said. “Whoever she is, I pray the Lord be with her and I thank you for reaching out to me.”
While many expressed shock about the development, other friends who commented on Ms. Otuya’s Facebook page described her as a budding pop music artist and supported her with their thoughts and prayers.