.Cross River

By Ike Uchechukwu, CALABAR

A medical doctor and CEO of Life First Medical Centre, Dr Austin Adugba, has been arrested by the Police in collaboration with the Cross River State Task Force on quackery and related violation in the healthcare delivery system of the state.

Briefing newsmen in Calabar, yesterday, Chairman of the Task Force, Dr David Ushie,  said six persons, including Dr Adugba, conspired to carry out the fake surgeries on nine persons out of the 10 patients that were found in the facilities visited by the team.

Ushie also revealed that Adugba has allegedly been recruiting quacks in his facility (Life First) and mobilising them to carry out all sorts of illicit activities in rural communities and defrauding unsuspecting members of such localities.

“This briefing is about fake doctors operating in Aladim community of Ogoja LGA, it’s about the sad incident that we received a tip-off concerning some wonder surgeons in the community.

“My team and I left Calabar by 12:30 am on September 8, 2022, to ensure the offenders did not escape as they usually did.

“As we arrived in the wee hours, we immediately contacted the chairman of the council, Emmanuel Ishabor and the DPO of Ceja Area command, Supol Horsfall, who both confirmed the incident.

“Our investigations took us to Health Centre, Aladim, the venue of the crime. After a full day interview and facility assessment, we made the following discoveries.

“There were 10 patients on admission. Nine of the 10 patients had 11 ‘surgeries’.  Among the nine, three patients had four ‘surgeries’ for ‘hernia’, the majority of the seven had ‘surgeries’ for ‘appendectomies, one patient had two surgeries’ for ‘appendix’ (1) and ‘hernia’ (1).

“At least, five of the 11 surgeries were clearly recognizable as superficial skin cuts giving patients the false sense that they had surgery(ies).

“At least six persons conspired in these fake surgeries and they include  Mr. Phillips Beeve (carried out ‘surgical operations’ on all nine) and Mr. Sunny (carries out ultrasound scan and report with Life First business name).”

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