A 38-year-old man who posed as an oncologist, Charles Nze, has been arrested by the police for allegedly duping a family of N4 million to treat a cancer patient, Franca Egwabor. Mr Nze, who claimed to be a dentist at Park View Clinic, Victoria Island, and an oncologist in a military hospital was yesterday paraded by Police Commissioner Fatai Owoseni.
He was alleged to have collected $10, 000 from the patient’s brother, who lives in the United States as advance payment under the guise of importing chemotherapy equipment to treat the victim. The suspect also allegedly collected about N1.7 million to help his supposed lover, Prisiclia Efesue, secure employment with the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS).
Efesue, who introduced the suspect to her family after meeting him at a bus stop, said she never knew he was a fraudster. The suspect admitted collecting the money from the victim’s family but said it was meant for drugs and equipment to treat the patient.
He said: “The cancer patient is a family friend. I decided to assist them and bring the patient from another hospital. I was treating her as an outpatient. “When I commenced treatment on the patient, she was getting better. But suddenly the family discovered that I was a dentist and said I overcharged them. Then, they requested that I refund N2 million out of the money they gave me for the treatment.
“It was when I could not return the N2 million that I was arrested by military policemen at Obalende Barracks. The military police later handed me over to the police. Three weeks after I started treating the patient, she started getting better. Before I started treating her, she was weighing 33 kilogrammes and could not walk, but now she can walk and weighs 47kg.”
One of the victim’s family members, said that Nze lied to them that he was a medical doctor, but they later got to know that he was a fake doctor.
He said: “When we first met he said he was an oncologist at 9 Brigade, Maryland and studied in India and London. My sister had been sick for some years. He promised to come and see her. “When he came, after diagnosing her, he told us that she had gastric cancer. He charged us N270,000. He said he was going to get drugs.”
But Nze, according to the family member, returned with pain killers. He added: “After 30 minutes, my sister, who was crying that she could not walk, started walking. That was what impressed us that he was actually a genuine doctor. He said to continue with the treatment, we needed to act fast because she might die anytime. That was how he billed us another $10,000.”
According to him, Nze later told the family members that because he had compassion for the patient, he was going to loan them N1 million, while they should look for the remaining. He added: “I sold my property and also took loans from my friends to raise the money because my parents could not afford such amount of money.
“After a while, he came back and asked for more money. Then, my wife told me that my sister was not getting better but I did not listen to her. I sold my wife’s car and gave him the money.
“Again, he came to demand additional money. It was then I told him to leave the patient alone. I said if she was going to die, she should die because we have exhausted our money.” The man said he later went to the barracks where Nze claimed he was working and made enquiries about him.
He said: “It was there I discovered he was not a doctor. The military police arrested him and handed him over to the police.” The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, urged the public to beware of the kind of people they relate with. Owoseni advised the people to go to registered medical centres for medical attention.
Source: The Nation/New Telegraph