The Chief Medical Director of Taraba State Specialist Hospital, Jalingo, and personal physician to recuperating Governor Danbaba Suntai, Prof. Zakari Aliyu, is facing trial by the Nigerian Medical and Dental Council for allegedly divulging Suntai’s health status.
Aliyu had last year told a five-member ad-hoc committee set up by the Taraba State House of Assembly to ascertain the health condition of Suntai that the governor had lost some cognitive abilities due to a brain injury, which he sustained in a plane crash in October 2012.
When he was criticized by a section of Nigerians for divulging the then ailing governor’s health status first to a media house and later to the state assembly, contrary to the ethics of his profession, the renowned professor of medicine said “I spoke with the President of NMA recently and he said I should be praised rather than be crucified”.
But when his case came up yesterday before the council’s disciplinary tribunal, Aliyu was nowhere to be found. Instead, a letter from him was received saying he had relocated to the United States.
In the letter to the secretariat of the tribunal, Aliyu tendered his apology for not appearing, saying he was no longer resident in Nigeria.
He explained that he did not receive any of the tribunal’s summons as his address had changed, until his attention was drawn to his name in the newspaper requesting him to appear before the tribunal.
He, therefore, pleaded for time to enable him prepare adequately to attend the next sitting of the tribunal.
Speaking earlier, chairman of the tribunal, Dr Jonathan Uzoatuegwu, said the tribunal is expected to dispense justice and adjudge the ethical conduct of the medical profession.