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Plateau’s organ theft scandal widens as seven new patients allege kidney loss

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Plateau’s organ theft scandal widens as seven new patients allege kidney loss

An air of apprehension has gripped residents of Yanshanu community in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State as seven more individuals, who underwent surgical operations at Murna Hospital over the years, have now claimed that their kidneys were harvested by the embattled clinic operator, Mr. Noah Kekere.

In an interview with reporters on Friday, Alhaji Jamilu Baba, the Chairman of Yanshanu Community Development Association, disclosed that all those who had undergone surgical operations at the clinic in the past had been asked to undergo tests to confirm the state of their kidneys.

READ ALSO: How victim’s husband rejected bribe to close organ harvesting case against Jos doctor

Alhaji Baba revealed that so far, no fewer than seven people, both males and females, have been discovered to have only one kidney, with the other missing.

He added that others were still in the process of undergoing scans based on the community’s report.

“It may interest you that those who went for scans are complaining of the same thing. At the moment, about seven have claimed that only one kidney was found in their bodies after scans. All of them had, at different times, had surgical operations performed on them by the so-called doctor at Murna Clinic,” he said.

The community leader added: “The hospital is called Murna Clinic owned by one man called Dr Noah Kekere, popularly known as Dr Yellow. He has been in this community for over 18 years. The people of this community trusted him and patronised him whenever they were not feeling well.

“But to our great surprise, we learned of his involvement in this unfortunate incident that he operated on a woman about seven years ago when she had an appendicitis. Unfortunately, after the operation, the woman was still complaining of stomach pain. Kekere has been managing her and collecting money from the family.

“After much complaining without any improvement, the husband told her wife to try Jos University Teaching Hospital, where it was discovered after a scan that she had one kidney; that the other one was missing.

“The report came to us and to the entire community as a shock. This man has betrayed the trust the community has in him. I cannot count the number of people in this community that this man has operated on. This incident has caused confusion in the community. Those he had operated on at one time or another are now jittery. We have been advising people that have been coming to us to go for tests at the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) and other certified hospitals.

“We are having a community meeting on Saturday (today) to discuss this issue thoroughly and tell other people who have undergone one form of operation or the other there to go for scans.

“The matter has been reported to the DPO in charge of this area and he has transferred the case to the state police headquarters. According to police investigation, the man has confessed that he removed the kidney of that woman (Mrs Kehinde Kamaru), saying that it was the work of the devil. Because of the damage he has done to our community, we petitioned the state Commissioner of Police, asking him to conduct a thorough investigation.

“The community has been so nice to him, but unfortunately, this is how he rewarded us. He had been presenting himself as a qualified medical doctor to the people, but he is not. Police investigation revealed that he has a BSc and a Master’s degree in Economics. We were told that he went to a nursing school but abandoned his programme along the way. He has done a lot of damage to our people.”

Alhaji Baba, therefore, urged the police to extend their investigation beyond the woman whose case exposed the fake doctor, emphasizing the need to uncover the root of the matter as a deterrent to others engaged in such dubious acts.

When our reporter visited Murna Clinic and Maternity Centre at Yanshanu, the facility was closed, and security personnel were stationed at the gate.

A source close to the clinic revealed that the doctors who assisted Kekere in the first victim’s operation had also been arrested by the police.

The spokesman for the state police command, Alfred Alabo, could not be reached to confirm the arrest of the accomplice doctors.

However, the suspect, Kekere, is still under investigation at the state police command headquarters, while his hospital at Yanshanu and others have been sealed off by security agencies.

NMA Intervention

Meanwhile, the state chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) distanced itself from Kekere during the week.

In a statement issued in Jos, Dr. Bapigaan William Audu, the chairman of the NMA in the state, and Dr. Istifanus Bintum Bako, the Public Relations Officer, stated that, based on their investigation, Kekere is not a medical doctor.

The statement reads in part: “This is to inform the general public and all concerned that Mr Noah Kekere, who is currently being investigated over allegations of organ harvesting, is not a medical doctor.

“Diligent investigations by the association have revealed that he is a quack pretending to be a doctor.

“Further information will be made available following the conclusion of the investigative processes initiated by the NMA as well as the Nigeria Police, respectively.”

The association called on all members and citizens to remain calm, as the association is on top of the issue and is assisting the police in getting to the root of the matter.

Our reporter learned that shortly after he was arrested and detained at the police headquarters in Jos, Mr. Kekere pretended to have gone mad and was rushed to the psychiatric section of JUTH.

However, he was discharged after it was discovered that there was nothing wrong with him.

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