The Cross River State Government has suspended Dr. Offiong Okoho, over alleged unprofessional practices which led to the death of Otu-Otu Duke.
Duke was the Special Adviser to Governor Ben Ayade on Waste Management.
He died on April 3, 2020, after undergoing surgery for hernia at the Covenant Clinic and Maternity, owned by Okoho.
NAN reports that Duke’s family had written a petition over the mismanagement of their late brother’s health.
A younger brother to the deceased, Orok Duke, addressed the petition to the Commissioner of Police, Uche Anozia.
He wrote: “Dr. Offiong conducted a surgery and mismanaged the deceased health in Offiong clinic. By the time my brother, who had fallen into a coma was evacuated and taken to Asi Ukpo Medical Centre for proper medical treatment, he died on April 3, 2020.”
Health Commissioner, Dr. Betta Edu, told newsmen on Thursday in Calabar that Okoho has been suspended and his clinic closed down.
She explained that the ministry took the decision based on complaints from some patients and clients.
Edu said an investigation into the allegations by members of the public was ongoing and that a committee had been set up to invite persons or relatives of people affected.
“Okoho has also been suspended from working at the General Hospital until the investigation is over. We can’t just act on what we hear, we must investigate it so that we don’t just punish somebody wrongly”, NAN quoted her as saying.
Reacting, Okoho told newsmen that as a medical professional, he took an oath to save lives and not otherwise.
Okoho said the deceased, who had a history of diabetes, was brought in for surgery at his clinic on March 25, 2020, and that it was successful.
He explained that seven days after, Duke developed a partial stroke and was referred to a specialist for appropriate treatment but refused to go.
“It was after the situation deteriorated that he was placed on oxygen and finally moved to Asi Ukpo Medical Centre, where he died,” Okoho said.
On the likely cause of the death, Okoho said: “The patient could have died as a result of Aspiration Pneumonitis because the nurse at Asi Ukpo said he vomited before he died.”
The embattled doctor said he would await the outcome of the investigation by the Ministry of Health.
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