A female teacher going by the name of Chukwuka has petitioned the governor of Anambra State, Chukwuma Soludo, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), and human rights groups, among others, to save her after a medical professional from Onitsha, Dr. Walter Igbokwe, allegedly dragged her to the Omaliko Idemili deity over an N600,000 unpaid hospital bill.
Her mother’s health was deteriorating, and the doctor demanded that she either pay the money or sign an agreement with him before she could take her to a better hospital. According to her, she signed the agreement under duress to allow her to take her mother to a better hospital.
“Since then he has been whatsapping me, threatening my life that I will die if I eat his money and that is why I draw your attention to inhuman, unbearable and despicable treatment being meted out to me by somebody who calls himself a medical doctor,” the woman lamented.
“One of the threats is in the Whatsapp he sent to me saying, you are requested and invited to appear at the Arusi Omaliko Ofia, (deity), in Abatete community, tomorrow, 9th day of December 2022, by 9 am Tomorrow 9th December, being Friday. He had his hospital, Health Foundation, at Obosi but now relocated to Chumex Hospital Nkpor.
“He told me to deposit #150,000 which I borrowed money and paid as a civil servant, and N75,000 for drugs which I also borrowed money and paid him, yet no drug was provided for my mother.
“Later he told me to provide N25,000 to pay a physiotherapist for treatment of my mother which I paid him but he gave him N5,000. He is merely interested in making money, not saving lives in tandem with physicians’ oaths.
“He coerced and forced me against my personal wish and desire to sign an undertaking to pay him the balance of the money. My mother was discharged almost dead because of lack of good medical attention and she died a few weeks later.
“I have been subjected to inhuman treatment, humiliation, insults, intimidations and threats by Dr Walter Igbokwe over non-payment of an unjustifiable and barbaric hospital bill.
“Worst still he submitted my name to many deities and shrines that some have invited me to, which I refused to honour because it is against my faith as a Christian.” she added.
In a swift reaction when contacted by newsmen, dr Igbokwe, denied all allegations stating that he never dragged her to any deity but admitted that one could use any means to recover his money.
“Let her show proof of my dragging her to a deity. She claimed to be a Christian and had time to go about writing petitions but could not have time to pick my calls as one he owes for about four to five years now but have time for petition,” the doctor said.
“We had an agreement which she and I signed that she will pay at so and so time. When the mother was brought to the hospital they didn’t open the folder, they did not deposit any money. For seven days I used my money for treatment. Her mother was better when she left my hospital and stayed a long time before she died, she didn’t die in my hospital.
“She has not been picking up my calls and if she said I approached a shrine that she will not go to as a Christian, did she approach somebody she owes for about five years as a Christian she claimed to be. I am more Christian than she is. I don’t know why people will be that wicked.
“As a teacher, if the Government is owing her for one year, will she live? What petition is she writing than to go and make peace with somebody she is owing?”