After four years of operating in Abuja, the Irregularities around Lilu Hospital, purportedly run by North Korean, were brought to the public glare following a recent investigation by the International Center for Investigative Report (ICIR).
According to the report, the hospital enjoys patronage from a former Attorney General of the Federation, about four Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), and other highly placed individuals, particularly public officials, including those who work in the presidency.
NMA Chairman, FCT Chapter, Dr. Charles Ugwuanyi, made the position of the body known during PUBLIC CONSCIENCE, an anti-corruption radio programme produced by the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG, Wednesday in Abuja
Ugwuanyi, who lauded ICIR and PRIMORG for flagging the anomaly at Lilu Hospital, confirmed that the facility is not registered with the Private Health Establishments Registration & Monitoring Committee (PHERMC) in Abuja, which makes their operation illegitimate. “the hospital has been sealed while the authorities are still searching for the culprits.”
His word: “We had a chat with the Chairman of PHERMC not too long ago, and he has assured us that they have visited that site (Lilu hospital) and discovered that there is no signpost there, and despite that they sealed it up, PHERMC is still in the process of looking for the principle outlaws.
“We also know that the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) are involved in this matter because they have also visited that facility.
“We (NMA) swept into action and findings from our committee, we have confirmed thus far that yes, there is a hospital called Lilu hospital, but it is never registered,” Ugwuanyi revealed.
He lamented the absence of solid legislation against quackery, stressing that the National Assembly must enact a law to punish culprits of quackery adequately.
“There is no strong legislation in anti-quackery, so we must push very quickly to make sure that there is an act on anti-quackery so that it will be easy to prosecute people that we catch. Before now, we charged them with fraud and impersonation, which they always find a way to escape, and the case drags on for so long. But if there is strong legislation, it becomes easy to prosecute,” Ugwuanyi stated.
On her part, the Chairman Hospital Inspection, Medical Outreach and Anti-Quackery Committee, NMA-FCT, Dr. Whera Sagay, noted that the association is aware of the growing number of quacks in the medical profession, warning that “NMA is out to deal with those who are practicing quackery, and own illegal hospitals.”
Sagay revealed that NMA is working with PHERMC, MDCN and the police to tackle the proliferation of illegal health facilities and quacks in the medical profession.
Investigative Journalist with the ICIR, Marcus Fatunmole, said the hospital debunked the investigation’s findings, claiming that the facility was a spar center and not a hospital. He noted that the hospital’s operations continue to be shrouded in secrecy as they still do not have a signpost to tell the general public what they are doing correctly.
Public Conscience is a syndicated weekly anti-corruption radio program used by PRIMORG to draw government and citizens’ attention to corruption and integrity issues in Nigeria.
The program has the support of the MacArthur Foundation.