On Isa Hamma: Court finds Kwaji guilty of clinical murder, orders his name to be struck out of the register of medical and dental practitioners

A court sitting in Abuja Friday, has finally found Yakubu Hassan Kwaji guilty of clinical murder, thereby has suspended him from medical practice for life, the Periscope can reveal.

Kwaji was said to have mistaken conjoined kidneys for tumour and arbitrarily decided to remove them without patient consent, from a 23 year old called Isa Hamma in a private hospital in Yola Adamawa State, Northeast Nigeria, sometime in 2016.

Unsatisfied with the judgement of the investigation panel constituted by Sen. Muhammadu Umaru Jibrilla Bindow the former governor of Adamawa state that exonerated Kwaji from his crime by tagging it as a mere surgical error, Isa Hamma, assisted by Audu Bukar Bulama a human right lawyer in Kano, filed a case before the court of competent jurisdiction against adding insult to injury.

“It could be a surgical, unintentional error. However, we suspect murder in the way and manner the error was managed; shielded in conspiracy and cover ups.” Umar, Isa Hamma’s uncle revealed to the Periscope reporter.

The patient relatives on returning back from Gombe, met Dr. Yakubu in his office and sought to know why he removed their patient’s kidney without their consent. The doctor swore he has not removed any kidney. He told the relatives that he was not a nephrectomist to think of handling issues relating to kidney surgery that would require a specialised kind of training. What he knew he has removed from Isa was a tumour, which developed by the patient’s pelvis to have cost unbearable stomach pain and it was that which was given to the relatives to go and bury.

The relatives said that it was the kidney that was removed as far as the FTH Gombe’s Teaching findings could ascertain.

Kwaji however, was said to have admitted the following mistakes during a session with the patient relatives:

He should have referred the patient to FMC Yola or FTH Gombe for better and superior diagnosis even before the surgery.

He should have explained to the patient relatives the kind of surgery and that the patient relatives out to have signed the consent form.

He should have taken the specimen after the surgery to a lab for further investigation rather than given it to patient relatives to burry.

He should not have discharged the patient. Better still, he should have referred the patient to a higher health facility centre, after the surgery, when the patient was still unable to pass urine, rather than discharging the patient back home.

He would equally agree that the above mentioned acts would be enough to suspect that he would wish the patient to die before the kidney removal could get to be discovered to be able to cover up the diagnostic error associated with imperfection, knowing full well that the relatives would not agree for any autopsy to be conducted on their deceased victim of clinical quackery owing to their faith and culture.

Bukar was asked to invite Isa Hamma to witness the ruling, the judgement. The jurists were however touched when they were informed that Hamma has since passed away, shouldering his sins to Hassan Kwaji.

The court ruled that: “The panel investigated the matter and established a prima facie case against Dr. Kwaji and preferred 12 Count charges against him before the Tribunal.

“It was my lord, to prosecute Dr Kwaji before the Tribunal. Today, the Tribunal found Dr. Kwaji guilty of all the 12 Count charges and orders his name to be struck out of the Register of Medical and Dental Practitioners.”

Speaking to the Periscope foreign desk in London, Barr Audu Bulama Bukar the Human Right lawyer who championed the course of justice through legal means said, nothing least was expected from this ruling.

Bukar said the next step was to ensure compensation for life. Isa’s relatives must be hugely compensated for the loss of their son claimed by quackery. The process of filing the case has already been started, Bulama said.

The Periscope has been the lone media that followed the incident from Adam to its end.

Recall that Adamu Muhammad Dodo, has on July 16, 2017, wrote a piece published in the Sunday edition of the The PERISCOPE with the title: “Isa Hamma’s story from hospital bed to grave” and “UN-POLAC, The PERISCOPE at Chaufa Jaule to meet Isa Hamma’s Parents in Mourning.”

It reads:

The day he left his beautifully made, fully furnished by the herdsman’s standard hut waiting to be made a complete room for yet a second time, about a week and one year ago, Isa Hamma 23, neither thought that the journey was summarily, eventually, to be to eternity; he was never to return healthy and hearty to have been duly set for the new breed and fresh bride breathing with a promised bed of roses as she was brought up to be nursing.

His earlier marriage contract with one of his cousins was not to yield any worthy fruit. It would have to be broken down. Another girl from among the daughters of one of his uncles was decided for the hardworking herdsman-farmer.

However, the persistent abdominal pains would have to be addressed before any engagement could get to be made. Hence Isa Hamma left Chaufa Jaule a rural community in Fufore local government area of Adamawa State Northeast Nigeria, unaccompanied, to Jimeta Hospital and Maternity, a private health facility in Yola on appointment for a follow-up.

He invited his uncles who are based in Modire a rural area situated in Girei local government area, to the health facility where he was operated upon; an operation that eventually ruined his life by shredding and grinding it to dust.

The findings of, as was submitted to, by the panel that Adamawa state government constituted following a recommendation by the management of the Federal Teaching Hospital Gombe, suggested an error rather than intentional in surgical procedure, being carried out on, to address the abdominal pains experienced by Isa Hamma, which resulted to the removal of his kidneys.

However, the aggrieved family of the victim faulted a deliberate mismanagement of the surgical error meant to have prematurely ended the life of their son before the imperfection, in clinical terms, could get to be exposed. It was the lament that drew the attention of human right group of the learned and those with the fourth estate, to file a case, which was duly endorsed by the casualty on his dead rather hospital bed, before the court of competent jurisdiction in Kano, while the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria was equally said to be doing its own investigation into the case.

After the surgery about one year two months ago, Isa was discharged from Jimeta Hospital and Maternity even when he was unable to pass urine. He was asked to return for follow-up after two weeks.

However, Isa’s condition deteriorated at Chaufa Jaule; he was completely swollen up, he could still not pass urine barely two days after having been discharged. He would have to be taken back to the health facility where the medical doctor- not a qualified surgeon- who carried out the surgery, instead of FMC Yola, referred the patient to the Federal Teaching Hospital Gombe state northeast Nigeria, where it was discovered that the patient’s kidneys were removed and that he would only survive on haemodialysis management, for which sessions he was placed on and that which the relatives would be unable to put the bill for life.

FMC Yola a tertiary health facility, where Isa Hamma’s case ought to have been referred to at the initial stage, has a dialysis unit as well, Isa’s relatives were told; for reason of proximity, they requested to be referred to FMC Yola for the continued haemodialysis management.

Radio Daldalkura International got wind of the case; Shallpella Hassan Umar’s investigative report, drew the attention of the human right activists, the media amplified it for the philanthropists and humanitarian groups to come in rescuing the situation as a collective social responsibility.

Mustapha Atiku Ribadu’s Facebook post on the incident came barely few hours before other newsmen could conclude their findings for an objective report. The Ribadu’s post trended more than any other.

Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, it was reported, said kidney transplant was possible. Governor Bindow of Adamawa donated the sum of N5m with a view to actualising the AKTH possibility after Gwadabe Nana Asmau the governor’s media consultant might have concluded her findings. Isa Hamma, to this effect, was referred to AKTH for a renal transplant.

Sani Lamu a Good Samaritan from Jalingo, Taraba state, Northeast Nigeria, was the first courageous youth to volunteer for a kidney donation. There was however the issue of tissue compatibility between a donor and a recipient in having a successful transplant.

Suffices to say that there was the incompatibility in tissue terms, between Sani and Isa as was clinically reported; the former would therefore not donate to the latter.

About five volunteers from the relatives of the casualty of surgical error who indicated interest to donate one of their kidneys, were found to have had one defect or the other; some volunteers from Kano could also not donate owing to some identified ailments.

A kidney of an Indian, even if it was to be found, could not match the tissue of a black man, it was said; hence, the Indian story would be a mission impossible without a standing donor from among the relatives of the recipient. And where there would be a compatible kidney, there would be no any need for a journey to any hospital in India; AKTH has had impressive records of carrying out more than 32 successful renal transplants; some of the successful ones were said to be on the patients with renal failure from Adamawa state.

Isa Hamma was therefore discharged from AKTH because the members of staff of the health facility have embarked on industrial action pending when there would be compatible kidney for a renal transplant.

Hamma was however transferred back to FTH Gombe after about 8 months of haemodialysis management at AKTH Kano.

The N5m donated by governor Bindow of Adamawa state was said to be exhausted without having had a kidney transplant.

It could be recalled that N500, 000 was initially given to Isa Hamma and relatives in Yola to enable them put the hospital bills, feeding and accommodation while at AKTH before renal transplant could get to be conducted.

Another N500, 000 was released to Isa with relatives having exhausted the earlier amount given to them at AKTH. The balance of N4m was said to have been deposited into the bank account of the social welfare of AKTH for the renal transplant and other treatments.

The patient relatives were seemingly financially incapacitated with the arrangement they have not welcomed and that which they were not part of.

The arrangement was made not to favour the patient relatives in terms of feeding and other needs. Human right group based in Kano led by Barr. Audu Bukar Bulama and the PERISCOPE Global lead Publisher, were joined in working out the modalities for opening a charity bank account for Umar Isa at UBA with the victim as the sole signatory to the account. This, the family commended, had in no small way, cushioned down the financial dusts they would have been suffocated to death with.

The large donation of N5m into the bank account came from ALGON Adamawa state, followed by a donation of the sum of N1, 250, 000 by the lawmakers with Adamawa state house of assembly.

Hon Sadiq Ibrahim Dasin a lawmaker with the house of reps, not only financially contributed, he also visited Isa Hamma and relatives at AKTH.

Dasin was also said to have tried his best in finding a way by which a federal government could shoulder the responsibility of managing the case of the casualty even if it would kean taking the casualty abroad for a remedy; Chaufa Jaule was under the lawmaker’s constituency.

There were also some financial donations from Kano following an aggressive media mediation for which the Hamma’s family would forever remain grateful.

FTH Gombe would have to discharge Isa to be receiving haemodialysis management as an outpatient for fear of hospital infections and further litigations should the patient eventually dies, as was revealed to the Periscope by an anonymous source.

The arrangement would be uncomfortable, the relatives resolved that Isa would have to be returned back to Yola for convenience. It would equally translate to cutting down the cost

Hamma was brought back on 1st June, 2017. His health condition was assessed to be worsening as an outpatient at the house that was rented for him with his relatives close to FMC Yola. He would therefore, have be readmitted at FMC Yola for proper expert care, where he was being managed until when he could no longer challenge the invisible arrow of death that could clinically not get to be shielded.

Isa Hamma the long surviving without kidney patient, died in the early hours of Monday, June 29, 2017. May his soul rest in perfect peace.

Hajiya Faiza Ahmed Song the registrar with FCE Yola, was incidentally, at FMC Yola when Isa Hamma was brought back from FTH Gombe. She was to make tremendous impact in the lives of Isa Hamma and relatives; she not only contributed money for blood infusion, she was also sending nutritional food to feed the patient and for the patient’s relatives to be able to break their fasting. It was the month of Ramdhan you know.

Funeral prayer for the deceased was observed at the Mosque in FMC Yola before Isa could finally be put to rest at the cemetery in Yola ancient city.

Incidentally, the Mosque was upgraded to a Jumua’t mosque by HRH the Lamido Adamawa Dr. Muhammad Barkindo Aliyu Musdafa and communicated to the members of the Islamic Medical Association of Nigeria IMAN FMC Yola through its secretary, barely few hours after the funeral prayer that guided Isa Hamma to his grave was observed.

Representatives of the UN-POLAC and the PERISCOPE organised a condolence visit to Chaufa Jaule to commiserate with the family over the death of Isa Hamma the only male child to his parents; it could not be likened to the journey of the Magi as rendered by a poet. However, the road was rough; it would attract the attention driving a Hillux and/or Range Rover. Therefore, as a security strategy, the group decided to use commercial starlet vehicles with drivers who knew well the terrain.

The area has no security threat. There was no need for a security escort. At some points, we had to get out of the vehicles and helped the drivers out of the sticky mud. A journey to have been less than an hour, has taken us several hours.

Governor Bindo was commended for the road networks in some major towns. The governor’s attention could either not have been drawn to the road leading to Chaufa Jaule and other rather agrarian remote areas or there was the challenge of constraints related to funding; the PERISCOPE could get to investigate.

By the sides of the roads you could see farm lands, herds of cattle and flocks of sheep, typifying the principles of the fulbe survival; “durem, ndemen,” crudely interpreted to mean “let’s rear animals, let’s farm”; though the metaphor suggestive of the first word of the motto “Jangen,” crudely interpreted to mean “let’s read, study, or get educated,” was visibly apparently unimpressive in Chaufa Jaule.

The slate at the Welcome to Yola gate spelt out the salient principles, the motto of fulbe. “Jangen, durem, Ndemen,” indicative of, seeking for knowledge, rearing of animals and farming; aimed at enlightenment, professionalism and being self-reliant.

The herdsmen lived in somewhat scattered thatched-roof huts, some miles away from the Chaufa Jaule community. Isa Hamma’s hut was few steps away from his weak in health, widowed mother who would be quadrupling in the role-play as father, mother and grandparent to her pregnant daughters with their children, whose lazy husbands abandoned and left for only God knows where.

You could see River Faro from Isa’s hut, crossing the river without visa, we were told, would lend one to a scandal of nationality with the Cameroonian security.

You could also see the mast of a GSM service provider planted at Barnake a border town in the Cameroun Republic.

We were told that because, sometimes the GSM mast at Barnake used to affect the meant for Nigeria GSM services, people around the area used to have dual SIM cards; one for Nigeria and one for Cameroun.

Simply put, Chaufa Jaule is a border town from Nigeria side. It could crudely be said to be among the villages at the border sandwiched between Wuro-bokki and Gurin, both border towns within Fufore local government area.

Aisha, Isa Hamma’s mother, lamented that they have been living as a fulbe community in the rural area for over 40 years. However, she feared displacement by those who would be using authority to claim ownership of land as herdsmen were used to be displaced; until perhaps, that time, she would long to die and be buried in Chaufa Jaule.

The family learnt that the medical doctor and the proprietor of the health facility where the surgical error that sent Isa Hamma to grave and ruined the hope of his loved ones, were taken to prison.

The family has been in mourning. They were not responsible for the unfortunate fate of those who let their own to his final fate.

“The doctor had never visited or called, not even sent a text message to show concern, even hypocritically, over Isa Hamma’s condition; his brother a university don with UNIMAID, visited us once with a contribution of the sum of N40, 000.

“Our phone calls were either ignored or rejected by those who facilitated our transfer to AKTH, who ought to have served as intermediary between us and the chief executive of the state.

“We were left, as it were, to the faith of what was fated to us; languishing in hospital for over a year. Our resolute to accommodating their resolutions against our wish, with solid faith, has indeed brought succour by God’s grace in a manner so unimaginable; a hope kind of, from unlikely sources; human right activists like Mustapha Atiku Ribadu, Barr Audu Bukar Bulama and the media, more especially, the PERISCOPE brought relief to our hapless, hopeless and helplessness.

“Those who abandoned us are those who come calling, pleading and arranging high powered delegations to lure our patience on their behalf to temper mercy with justice, however unjustifiably, by withdrawing the case before the competent court of jurisdiction sitting in Kano and/or Abuja; what a parable of life! It’s so full of paradox indeed.

“However, to be fare to the proprietor of the private health facility, she visited us twice, she gave her financial contribution and she was used to be sending her relatives while at AKTH and FMC Yola to donate blood for infusion. It’s worrisome that she’s part of the unfortunate fate,” one of Isa’s relatives would lament.

Whether or not it was a justified surgical error, whether or not concealing the error to be detrimental to the patient was deliberate and the act was criminal, only the competent jury could adjudicate.

In Dr. Ben Carson a Professor of Paediatric Neurosurgery at John Hopkins Medical Institution in United State of America, who in his best selling, a most read novel more of memoir; “THE GIFTED HAND”, we learned that success in managing a patient would attract respect.

However, any failure associated with risk taken in clinical practice, could lead one to prison where he narrated some of the risky steps he had taken to save the life of his patient who would have rather been left to die had the step turned out to be unsuccessful; because he would not only have lost his job, be withdrawn from clinical practice, he would have ended his life miserably in prison.

Dr. YAKUBU HASSAN KWAJI, a guy who initially read anatomy for five years before joining MBBS to become a medical doctor. Little he did know that he would make such a deadly mistake of removing a client’s kidney taken for a tumour. He would not have gone beyond his degree in anatomy and settle for lecturing or any other profession away from clinical practice.

The patient relatives on returning back from Gombe, met Dr. Yakubu in his office and sought to know why he removed their patient’s kidney without their consent. The doctor swore he has not removed any kidney. He told the relatives that he was not a nephrectomist to think of handling issues relating to kidney surgery that would require a specialised kind of training. What he knew he has removed from Isa was a tumour, which developed by the patient’s pelvis to have cost unbearable stomach pain and it was that which was given to the relatives to go and bury.

The relatives said that it was the kidney that was removed as far as the FTH Gombe’s Teaching findings could ascertain.

Kwaji however, was said to have admitted the following mistakes during a session with the patient relatives:

He should have referred the patient to FMC Yola or FTH Gombe for better and superior diagnosis even before the surgery.

He should have explained to the patient relatives the kind of surgery and that the patient relatives out to have signed the consent form.

He should have taken the specimen after the surgery to a lab for further investigation rather than given it to patient relatives to burry.

He should not have discharged the patient. Better still, he should have referred the patient to a higher health facility centre, after the surgery, when the patient was still unable to pass urine, rather than discharging the patient back home.

He would equally agree that the above mentioned acts would be enough to suspect that he would wish the patient to die before the kidney removal could get to be discovered to be able to cover up the diagnostic error associated with imperfection, knowing full well that the relatives would not agree for any autopsy to be conducted on their deceased victim of clinical quackery owing to their faith and culture.

It is the kind of complications, which resulted to clinical murder for which the Surgeon Atul Gewande would define medicine as an “imperfect science” in his most read book with the title: “COMPLICATIONS: A Surgeons Notes on an Imperfect Science,” where he succinctly performed by exposition, an explanatory surgery on medicine itself, laying bare a science not in its idealised form, but as it actually is – complicated, perplexing and profoundly human.

Where dramatic and revealing stories of patients and doctors explore how deadly mistakes occur, what happens when medicine comes up against the inexplicable and what it feels like to insert a surgeon knife into a patient as much as what it feels removing a patient’s kidney believing that it’s a tumour.

Its imperfection as a science and owing to its attendant complexities, necessitated for its learning to remain a continuous process in the sense that even experts struggle to master the challenges they face using what Atul Gewande would explain in a word as “Checklist,” as a manifesto on how to get to know how to get things right.

In its practice, a practitioner always has to be under the guidance and tutorship of superior professionals. See Atul Gewande’s most read “THE CHECKLIST MANIFESTO TO HOW TO GET THINGS RIGHT” and “BETTER: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance.” The books are actually intuitively great.

“GREYS ANATOMY” book rendered into educational movie among other clinical enlightenment by entertainment resources, has equally explored such idea.

It is learnt that while in medical school, it is not enough for a candidate to pass the theory even if it is with distinction. So long as one makes mistake in practical class, one will be made to repeat the session in other not to make such mistake that could be hazardous to a patient’s life in real clinical situation. Peace!” aadododo@yahoo.co.uk articulated.

What next? To court for compensation, the human right Bulama would say, making the Periscope’s Mood of the Moment

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