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84-Year-Old Fake Surgeon, Others Arrested In C’River, Illegal Medical Centres, Laboratories Shut

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An 84-year-old fake Surgeon, Simon Okuta Agba, has been arrested by officials of the Cross River State Health Task Force Against Quackery.

Simon was apprehended on Tuesday, January 3, 2023, after officials of the agency raided his clinic called Life First Clinic in Ukpah, Bekwarra Local Government Area of the state.

The Special Adviser to the Cross River State Governor on Health and Chairman of the State Task Force, Dr. David Ushie, disclosed this in Calabar.

He said the fake clinic was raided following reports of suspicious deaths, maiming and defrauding members of the public of their money through a ridiculous surgery price regime, which Simon and his team had been adopting to lure their victims.

Ushie also added that the TaskForce closed down five facilities and arrested seven persons from Yala, Ogoja and Bekwarra.

In Yala, one Rosemary Irima, who owned and operated Devine Favour Clinic and Maternity, had her facility sealed and practice items confiscated by the Task Force.

In Abakpa and Igoli, in Ogoja, three persons were arrested for hawking or selling so-called Islamic herbal products that claim to cure all manner of diseases.

“The medications have no NAFDAC safety certifications and they show no credible manufacturer’s information. Those arrested over this are Michael Chia and Michael Ani, (both now charged in court) and one Rabiu, whose shop was sealed by the Task Force along Audu street by Mission road,” he said.

Giving more details on the 84-year-old fake surgeon, Dr. Ushie said “Simon Okuta Agba, an elderly man said to be 84 years old, has been running this unregistered facility under several names, currently called Life First Clinic.

“Mr. Simon has been running this facility by providing “cheap” costing for surgical operations and nearly everyone who goes there with medical complaints always has to have surgery.

”On this tour, we met a total of 12 patients on admission, out of this, 11 of them have had surgeries carried out within four days from 31st of December, 2022.

“The only one who didn’t have surgery was the one who came a few hours before we arrived and he was already booked by Mr. Simon Okuta, for surgery. So, if we did not go there, he was going to operate on this man after the surgery, which he was handling before we arrived at his premises.

“We met him conducting surgery on two patients, one, a hernia and the other, appendix. These are the diagnoses that he assigns to nearly every patient even as the patients never really get the purported surgery since they adopt skin cuts with suturing while their patients are under anesthesia. The patients wake in the false belief that they had surgery.

“Mr. Simon employed other quacks, who run sections in his hospital called laboratory, who are not laboratory scientists.

“He has sections where they conduct ultrasound scans and the people are not radiographers, not even radiologists.

“He has nurses, who are not trained, he gives anaesthesia by himself, and sundry activities that all take place in a very unhygienic facility,” he said.

He added that during the raid, they observed heartbreaking professional violations, for instance, “Every patient keeps their used injection syringe and needle by their bedsides. When they were asked about the presence of a used syringe and needle on their beds, each patient says, ‘the doctors use those syringes and needle when they give me my injection.”

“It is very sad to know that Mr. Simon transfuses blood, nobody knows how he cross matches blood, he has no pathologist or doctor that does the confirmation of the safety of this blood,” he said.

Dr Ushie also disclosed that Mr. Simon has “baggage of complaints directed against his practice to the State Government and it became very important that, as a responsible government, we responded to keep faith with the many complainants.”