A man has been remanded in jail for parading himself as a medical doctor without proper legal backing.
Daily Post reports that the accused identified as Sunday Oppa of No. 8 Furture Road, Ungwan Rimi, Kaduna, was first arraigned in court on a two-count charge of impersonation and culpable homicide on April 12, 2016.
Oppa was accused of pretending to be a medical practitioner on or before February 4, 2015, although he was not registered as one.
He was also accused of treating one George Ayuba of Sarkin Pawa Road, Bayan Dutse Kaduna, for cancer and accepting payments for same.
According to Mr Suwam Stephen, Counsel to the state Government, the offence was punishable by law under section 17 (5)(b) of the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act, Cap M8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Daily Post reports that Oppa was also accused of administering wrong drugs on Ayuba which could have led to his death, with the full knowledge that he (Ayuba) was not suffering from cancer.
Oppa was thereafter charged with attempt to commit culpable homicide, punishable under section 229 (1) of the Penal Code, Laws of Kaduna State, 1991.
Justice Gideon Kurada who presided over the case found the accused guilty, saying, “The prosecution counsel has proven beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is not a medical doctor, and the accused himself attested that he is a laboratory scientist.
“Evidence before the court proved that the accused had continued to treat Ayuba for cancer, when the duty of a laboratory scientist did not include treatment.
“I, therefore, found the accused guilty as charged,” Kurada said.
Kurada, however, found the accused not guilty of the second count, stating that the prosecution counsel had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused attempted to kill Ayuba by administering cancer drugs.
“Yes, there is evidence that the accused administered cancer drugs to Ayuba who was not suffering from cancer, an act that would have killed him.
“But there is no evidence before this honourable court that it was in an attempt to kill him. I, therefore, found him not guilty on count two,” he said.
Kurada also expressed concern that Oppa, who is a first offender, refused to admit his wrongdoing.
“He did not show the slightest remorse throughout the trial and refused to accept that as a laboratory scientist, he did not have legal backing to treat patients and as such, a threat to the public.
“I hereby sentence him to one year imprisonment and N10,000 or serve additional six months if he failed to pay the fine,” he said.
Daily Post reports that Oppa's counsel, Tajudeen Oladoya, appealed for a lighter sentence on the grounds that his client, a father of nine children, had no record of previous conviction.
However, Mr Stephen urged the court to disregard the appeal, noting that lighter punishments only applied on summary trial and that the accused claimed he had done no harm throughout the trial.
He also urged the court to impose full punishment for the offence as prescribed by the law, which will serve as a deterrent to others.