Operatives of the Nigeria Police Force, have nabbed a senior official of the Federal Ministry of Health, Martins Ugwu, after they discovered he stole the licence from his friend and had been using it to pose as a ‘medical doctor’ for over nine years.
The suspect, said to be a Senior Medical Officer II on Grade Level 13, was found to have impersonated his friend, Dr. George Daniel, who is undergoing a residency training programme in Jos, Plateau State.
It was gathered that Ugwu and his friend are both indigenes of Orukpa in the Ogbadibo Local Government Area of Benue State and that the suspect allegedly stole the licence during a wedding in 2006 where he served as Daniel’s best man.
According to a report by Punch, who was due to be promoted to an Assistant Director in the 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, Dr. George Davidson Daniel, until he was indicted by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, MDCN, as an impostor.
He was rounded up by the police on Thursday, June 4, 2015 after an investigation by the MDCN, which registers all Nigerian doctors and regulates their practice.
They realised that there were two Dr. Daniels with the same name on two separate identity cards which fuelled suspicion.
Subsequently, the body wrote a letter to the Chairman, Federal Civil Service Commission, dated on Thursday, June 4, 2015 signed by the Registrar, Dr. A. Ibrahim.
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 he currently undertakes his residency training in Jos, Plateau State.
“The council summoned and interacted with the genuine doctor who gave some vital information on the impostor. The council has reported the matter to the law enforcement agency as a case of impersonation; with the genuine doctor deposing to a statement with regard to what happened between him and the fake doctor whose real name is Mr. Martins Ugwu.
“As it is, Mr. Martins Ugwu is an impostor. You may therefore wish to take further actions to deal with this matter in accordance with the provisions of the law.”
Moreso, it was learnt that Ugwu was released a few hours after the arrest and MDCN has expressed their disappointment in that regard and had promised to take up the matter with the Inspector-General of Police.
The incident was confirmed on Sunday, June 7, 2015 in Abuja by the Head of Inspectorate Department, MDCN, Dr. Henry Okwuokenye, who headed the investigation.
He said, “When we looked at our archives, we discovered there was actually somebody that bears the name, Dr. George Daniel, but the picture is not the same as the one that was sent to us. The Daniel under investigation had a photocopy of a practice licence and a provisional licence- the first temporary documentation for new doctors valid for only two years- but the unique folio number matched a real Dr. Daniel on MDCN files.”
Additionally, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Linus Awute, accused the suspect of leading a gang who go about “scandalising and intimidating heads of agencies under the ministry and extorting money from them.”
He said, “We are making efforts to get the other members of his (Ugwu’s) gang. He has been on the payroll of the government all these years but nemesis has caught up with him. He is the leader of a gang that has been operating in the ministry, intimidating and extorting money from heads of agencies under the ministry. They have approached me to negotiate in the belief that money has come to the ministry to be shared.”
On the other hand, the FCT Police Public Relations Officer, Anjuguri Manzah, said, “The matter is under investigation, though the suspect has been released on bail for now.”