An Akure Chief Magistrate’s Court has sentenced a 30-year-old fake medical practitioner, Wembe Martins Duclarie, to two years imprisonment.
Delivering judgment yesterday, Chief Magistrate Olubunmi Dosunmu said the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt that the accused held himself out as a medical doctor without requisite qualification and also administered treatment to people when he was not eligible to do so.
The accused, a Cameroonian, was arrested in April, 2014 and charged to court on a single count charge of holding himself out as a medical doctor without requisite qualification or registration contrary to Section 17(1) and punishable under Section 17(5) of the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act Cap M Laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2014. During the trial which commenced on August 20, 2014, the prosecution called four witnesses to testify while the accused called a witness.
Some of the witnesses include Police corporal Egunjobi Sunday, Hope Olajide, Dr. Obaado Olatubosun, Director, Hospital Services, Ondo State Ministry of Health and Chairman Medical and Dental council of Nigeria monitoring Committee in the state and Dr. Henry Okwuokenye, Assistant Registrar and Head of Inspectorate Division, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, Abuja.
The defence counsel also called one Danladi Sunday to testify. Chief Magistrate Dosunmu pronounced the accused guilty as charged and sentenced him to two years imprisonment from the date he was arraigned in court. Reacting to the judgment, prosecution counsel, Wale Bamisile told Daily Trust that it was a victory for the judiciary.
Dr. Obaado also said he was happy with the judgment, adding that it would serve as a deterrent to others. He said the case was prolonged because of strike embarked upon by judicial workers in the state which dragged on for about six months.
He said the case was instituted when he got information last year that some people were operating a network of hospitals with branches in Ala, Akure, Owo and Ogbese settlements. “We then checked and discovered that they were operating illegally because all hospitals must apply for registration with the ministry and must be duly certified,” he said.
Published: 16 June 2015. By Bola Ojuola
Media Trust Limited (C) 2013