84-year-old ‘quack’ doctor arrested over ‘fake surgeries’ in Cross River

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The Cross River health task force says it has arrested an 84-year-old “fake surgeon” in Ukpah, Bekwarra LGA of the state.

NAN reports that the suspect, identified as Simon Okuta-Agba, was arrested on January 3.

David Ushie, chairman of the task force, was quoted as saying officials invaded the facility after receiving information about suspicious deaths in the laboratory.

Ushie, who is also the special adviser on health to the Cross River governor, said the suspect had conducted surgeries on eleven patients and carried out ultrasound services in the unregistered laboratory.

He said the suspect, operating ‘Life First Clinic’, was discovered not to have attended any medical school nor is he certified to be a doctor.

“In our investigation, we discovered that he has been running this facility by providing cheap surgeries and nearly everyone who went there with medical complaints always had to undergo surgery,” he said.

“On this tour, we met a total of 12 patients on admission, out of which 11 of them had undergone surgeries carried out within 4 days from Dec. 31, 2022, the only one remaining had also been scheduled for surgery before we arrived.

“On arrival, we met him conducting surgery on two patients, one a hernia and the other, appendix; these are the diagnosis that he assigns to nearly every patient.

“However, the patients never really get the purported surgery since they adopt skin cuts with suturing while their patients are under anaesthesia, the patients wake up with the false belief that they had surgery.

“It is very sad to know that Okuta-Agba transfuses blood and nobody knows how he cross-matches the blood, he has no pathologist or doctor that does the confirmation of the safety of the blood.

“Thus far, investigations show that the culprit is not a doctor, has never gone to a medical school to train as a health personnel, and has no licence or certificate.

“The same is the case with all his staff that work with him, while Life First Clinic, Ukpah, is not registered with the Cross River ministry of health as a health service provider.”

The task force chairman said the department of public prosecution in Ogoja had charged the suspect and others apprehended to court.