Student jailed for posing as gynaecologist at Ho Teaching Hospital [UPDATED]
A 38-year-old student said to be from the Regional Maritime University in Accra, Isaac Sumatu, who posed as a gynaecologist at the Ho Teaching Hospital (HTH) and managed to extort money from a teacher by offering her a concoction of medications, was sentenced last Wednesday to a fine of GH¢12,000 by the Ho Circuit Court.
Sumatu failed to pay the fine and was subsequently taken to the Ho Central Prison to serve a two-year jail term in lieu of the fine.
He pleaded guilty with an explanation to the charge of practising medicine without proper registration.
However, the court, presided over by Felix Datsomor, found that Sumatu's explanation was consistent with his plea and accordingly sentenced him.
Inspector Benjamin Amoako, who prosecuted, told the court that on September 15, 2023, Sumatu arrived at the hospital and approached a woman who was at the facility.
He requested a private conversation with her, but the lady declined, stating that she did not know him.
At this point, the accused introduced himself as "Dr Edward, a gynaecologist at the facility”, and informed her that he had identified something highly unusual about her abdomen.
The prosecution recounted that after this false diagnosis, Sumatu informed the woman that if immediate action was not taken, her womb would become blocked, rendering her unable to conceive in the future.
The impersonator then instructed the woman to return to the hospital the next day for treatment, during which he would confirm the availability of the necessary medications.
“On the scheduled day, Sumatu contacted the woman by phone, reassuring her that the prescribed medications for her condition were in stock. He asked her to bring GH¢200 and a bottle of water to facilitate the mixing of the prescribed treatment,” the prosecutor said.
According to the prosecutor, upon her arrival, Sumatu led the teacher to the hospital's blood bank and offered her a mixture later identified as a combination of Vitamin C and paracetamol tablets to drink.
The teacher, realising that doctors do not typically conduct consultations with patients in the blood bank, enquired at the hospital and was informed that there was no gynaecologist at the hospital called Dr Edward. Subsequently, she reported the incident to the police.
The fake doctor was apprehended on September 18, 2023, while loitering at the hospital. In his caution statement, Sumatu admitted to introducing himself as Dr Edward to the woman and subsequently giving her a mixture of Vitamin C and paracetamol to drink.
The court determined that the prosecution had satisfactorily proven the case against Sumatu beyond any reasonable doubt.
Isaac Sumatu is not a student of Regional Maritime University - Acting Vice Chancellor, Dr Jethro Wilbert Brooks Jnr.
Meanwhile, the Regional Maritime University has said Isaac Sumatu is not a student in any of the programmes of the university.
In a rejoinder to Graphic Online, the Acting Vice Chancellor, Dr Jethro Wilbert Brooks Jnr. wrote: "Isaac Samatu, as per our records, is not a student on any of our programmes. We cannot help but to conclude that, your reporter only wanted attention drawn to his story and this was the reason he chose to bring in The Regional Maritime University as captioned."
"In this regard, the institution humbly requests for the immediate retraction of the published statement as it is giving a negative impression to the University's stakeholders locally and internationally,"it added.
Court was told Isaac Sumatu was a student of Regional Maritime University
However, per the facts reported from the court room, Isaac Sumatu was introduced to the court as a student of Nautical College, Accra [now Regional Maritime University].
In the courtroom, the prosecutor as per the charge sheet [attached below], introduced the convict as a student of the Nautical College, Accra but added that the college was now known as the Regional Maritime University].
Attached below are copies of the rejoinder from the Regional Maritime University and the charge sheet from the court