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Obigbo v. Arkansas State Board of Nursing

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division II

December 3, 2014

WINNIE EBELE ARMIAH OBIGBO, APPELLANT
v.
ARKANSAS STATE BOARD OF NURSING, APPELLEE

APPEAL FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, SECOND DIVISION. NO. 60CV-12-5231. HONORABLE CHRISTOPHER CHARLES PIAZZA, JUDGE.

Baker, Schulze & Murphy, by: J.G. " Gerry" Schulze and Ruthanne Murphy, for appellant.

Dustin McDaniel, Att'y Gen., by: Brandon C. Robinson, Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.

ROBERT J. GLADWIN, Chief Judge. WALMSLEY and GRUBER, JJ., agree.

OPINION

Page 336

ROBERT J. GLADWIN, Chief Judge

Appellant Winnie Ebele Armiah Obigbo appeals from the Arkansas State Board of Nursing's Board revocation of her nursing license based on its determination that she violated Arkansas Code Annotated sections 17-87-309(a)(1) and (a)(6) (Repl. 2010). On appeal to this court, Obigbo argues that the Board's decision is not supported by substantial evidence. We affirm.

Dan West, an investigator for Arkansas Healthcare Investigations, was enlisted by the Board to investigate an anonymous complaint that Obigbo had never attended a nursing school in Cameroon, Africa, had never lived in Cameroon, and had obtained a fraudulent transcript. West testified that the International Education Research Foundation (IERF) mailed a license-verification form to the Association of Nurses, Midwives, and Health Technicians at an address provided by Obigbo. The form was returned and listed a different license number from that provided by Obigbo and contained a seal from a different agency. West testified that he was unable to verify Obigbo's license or confirm that the nursing school even existed. The only correspondence purporting to be from the school came from a post-office box and a Yahoo email address.

West went to Chicot Road in Little Rock, which was the address that Obigbo had provided to the Board in applying for her license, and learned that Obigbo was not on the lease. He also discovered that she had never assessed personal property in Pulaski County.

West determined that, although Obigbo claimed to have worked as a pharmacy technician in Texas in 2001 and 2002, the Texas State Board of Pharmacy had no record of her. Prolink Home Health Corporation, where Obigbo worked as a certified nursing aide, provided Obigbo's employment application. Under the education-history section, Obigbo listed Nnamdi Azikiwe University and a pharmacy-technician program but did not list the nursing school in Cameroon. Also, in a section requesting a list of professional licenses, Obigbo did not list her Cameroon nursing license. West also obtained information from North Central Texas College. On her application to NCTC's LVN program, Obigbo did not list the nursing program in Cameroon on the academic-information section.

West testified that Obigbo's immigration file indicated that she lived in Nigeria from 1970 to 1999 and that she worked at two banks in Onitsha, Nigeria, from 1993 through 1999. West testified that Obigbo claimed to have attended nursing school in Bamenda, Cameroon, from 1994 through 1997, and West determined that the driving distance between Bamenda and Onitsha was over 600 miles.

Obigbo testified that she graduated from high school in Nigeria and then went to Nnamdi Azikiwe University. She stated that she went to nursing school in Cameroon from 1994 through 1997 and stayed in a dormitory but that it was not her permanent address. Obigbo testified that she worked at a bank while on school breaks. In 2000, she married and moved

Page 337

to the United States. Obigbo explained that the discrepancy in the license numbers resulted because one number was the diploma number ...


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