On 11/Jul/2014 / In Medical News
An Evbuoriaria magistrate court sitting in Benin City has sentenced a 32-year old man to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour for operating an unregistered private clinic.
The accused, Jeremiah Onovwata was jailed without an option of fine for floating an unregistered private clinic, named "Devine Maternity and Clinic," which metamorphosed into "Devine Nursing home and Maternity," where he impersonated as the Chief Medical Director on Siluko Road, in the Edo State Capital.
The Special grade Magistrate, Patricia Igho Braimoh in his ruling averred that the court was satisfied with the "uncontradicted prosecution evidence," which was corroborated by the evidence of the defence.
The accused was therefore found guilty as charged. The jail-term is however to run concurrently for a period of two years.
According to the court, the convict was previously apprehended for the same offence in 2009, only to continue the nefarious activities.
The magistrate who cited relevant sections of the law also held that the convict was earlier pardoned, after deposing to an undertaken never to impersonate as the Medical Director of the clinic and Maternity.
Onovwata pleaded guilty to the five-count charge preferred against him by the State Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the Medical and Dental council of Nigeria before the court.
Defence Counsel, Evidence Ejemu Etimbowei, however promised to appeal the ruling.
The Edo State chairman of Medical Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) - the regulatory body of medical practice, Dr (Mrs) Helen Eboreime, described the judgement as appropriate, considering the investigation of the committee to rid the state of quack doctors.
Eboreime who is also Director of Medical Services, in the State Ministry of Heath, urged health practitioners operating in Edo either without appropriate licence from appropriate authorities, or health practitioners, not to operate beyond their scope of training.
According to her, "for quite some time now, most health facilities in the state are operated by male nurses and other health workers".
She also encouraged the public to always seek wise counsel before taking crucial decisions concerning their health.
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