5 medical doctors arrested for N13.6 million fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned a total of 5 medical doctors before Justice Efe Ikponwonba of the Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City, Edo State on a 21-count charge of fraud, stealing, conspiracy to commit felony and false.

The medical doctors who were also former officials of the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, Edo State Branch; Dr. Emmanuel Ighodaro; Dr. Anthony Owolabi; Dr. Quincy Atoghengbe; Dr. Raymond Ogieva; and Dr. Oseremen Gabriel Ogbebor were arrigned yesterday, Wednesday, January 31, 2018.

The doctors were reported to have allegedly conspired to commit felony, a crime punishable under Section 516 of the Criminal Code CAP 48 Laws of Bendel State of Nigeria.

The count charges against the medical practitioners reads: “Dr. Emmanuel Ighodaro, Dr. Anthony Owolabi, Dr. Quincy Atoghengbe , Dr.Raymond Ogieva and Dr. Osaremen Gabriel Ogbebor, while acting in your capacities as officers of Nigeria Medical Association, Edo State Branch between 2013 and 2014 at Benin in Edo State within the jurisdiction of this court conspired to omit UBA Account No. 1010712142, a material particular in the Audit Report for the year, 1st August, 2013 – 31st July, 2014 of the Association and thereby committed an offence.”

The doctors however pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The counsel to the defendants, I. E. Imadegbelo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, however proceeded to tell the court that he had a pending application for bail for the defendants.

He pleaded with the court to grant the defendants bail while also noting that the defendants had been granted administrative bail by the EFCC.

Justice Ikponwonba in his decision granted the defendants each a bail in the sum of N1million and a surety in like sum.

The surety, according to the judge, must be a responsible Nigerian and must provide evidence of tax payment.

The case was thereafter adjourned to February 20, 2018.