Absence of fake doctor from court stalls trial – Punch Newspapers

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Olufemi Atoyebi, Abuja

The ongoing trial of an alleged fake medical doctor, Martin Ugwu, who used a stolen identity to work at the Federal Ministry of Health for 10 years was stalled on Wednesday because he had been put behind bars for another offence.

Ugwu is being prosecuted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission for impersonation and was billed to appear before Justice Abubakar Kutigi of the High Court of Federal Capital Territory, Gwagwalada.

A statement signed by the spokesperson for the commission, Rasheedat Okoduwa, said Ugwu was remanded in Keffi Prisons, Nasarawa State.

The commission said, “He was scheduled to appear before the court over allegations of impersonating a certain Dr. George Daniel Davidson, to gain employment into the Federal Civil Service.

“ICPC, in February 2016, filed a 7-count charge before Justice Kutigi against Ugwu for allegedly making a false statement to the Chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission, through which he secured employment into the Federal Ministry of Health, in 2006.

“His alleged offence contravened Section 25 (1) (a) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Act, 2000 and punishable under Section 25 (1) (b) of the same act.”

ICPC alleged that Ugwu drew salaries and allowances up to N17.2m between 2006 and 2016, after working for about 10 years as a medical doctor with the fake documents.

It noted, “Ugwu further allegedly used the fake documents to procure a staff identity card bearing the name Dr. George Daniel Davidson, apply for annual leave as well as a post-graduate training programme which would have conferred on him, a Masters degree in the Field of Epidemiology Practice.”

The commission added that when his case was mentioned for trial, his counsel, David Ajaba, claimed not to have seen or heard from him since October 6, 2019.

He then pleaded with the court to adjourn the matter to a later date to allow him to speak with the accused.

Counsel for ICPC, Ekoi Akponimisingha, prayed the court to issue a ‘production warrant’ that would enable the defence counsel to bring him to court.

Justice Kutigi adjourned the matter to January 22, 2020, to allow the defense counsel to meet with the accused. He added that the adjournment was necessary because the accused had the right to a fair hearing.

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