A senior official in the Federal Ministry of Health, Martins Ugwu, who has been practicing as a medical doctor for close to 10 years, has been arrested by the police upon discovery that he stole the medical license from his friend.
Ugwu, who is a Senior Medical Officer II on Grade Level 13, was found to have impersonated his friend, Dr. George Davidson Daniel, who is undergoing a residency training programme in Jos, Plateau State.
He allegedly stole the license from his friend for whom he was best man during his wedding in 2006. They both hailed from Orukpa in Ogbadibo LGA of Benue State.
It was learnt that Ugwu, who was due to be promoted as Assistant Director in Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Health, has been working in the civil service since 2006 under the name of Dr. George Davidson Daniel until he was indicted by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria as an impostor.
Ugwu, who was arrested by the police last Thursday, was however released a few hours later, fueling speculations that the policemen might have been compromised.
Ugwu’s arrest was sequel to an investigation by the MDCN, which registers all Nigerian doctors and regulates their practice, after investigations uncovered two Dr. Daniels—the same name on two separate identity photographs.
The MDCN, in a letter to the Chairman, Federal Civil Service Commission, dated June 4, 2015, signed by the Registrar, Dr. A. Ibrahim, described Ugwu as an impostor, adding that the case had been reported to the police for further investigation and action.
It reads: “Records available to the council revealed that this Dr. Davidson Daniel George is an impostor as he is impersonating another Dr. Davidson Daniel who is the genuine doctor and currently undertaking his residency training in Jos, Plateau State.
“Council summoned and interacted with the genuine doctor who gave some vital information on the impostor. Council has reported the matter to the law enforcement agency as a case of impersonation, with the genuine doctor deposing to a statement with regards to what happened between him and the fake doctor whose real name is Mr. Martins Ugwu.
“As it is, Mr. Martins Ugwu is an imposter. You may therefore wish to take further actions to deal with this matter in accordance with the provisions of the law.”
But the MDCN said it was dissatisfied with police handling of Ugwu’s case and promised to take up the matter with the Inspector-General of Police.
The council cited a previous arrest of a fake doctor arraigned for prosecution, insisting that prosecuting police officers have never called the council’s investigators to court as witnesses while the case stalled in court.
The council said so far, it is currently investigating and prosecuting some 40 cases of quacks in courts.
Ironically, Ugwu was part of a government committee that met more than 200 contingents returning from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea where they had volunteered to help fight Ebola under an African Union mission, last week in Abuja.
The Head of Inspectorate Department, MDCN, Dr. Henry Okwuokenye, who led the team of investigators, confirmed Ugwu’s arrest in Abuja. [myad]