Protesting UNTH doctors drag CMD to EFCC, ICPC over alleged N3.5b fraud

Protesting UNTH doctors drag CMD to EFCC, ICPC over alleged N3.5b fraud

- Resident doctors of UNTH have dragged the hospital's CMD, Christopher Amah, to EFCC and ICPC over alleged N3.5b fraud

- The doctors alleged that they were being shortchanged by the deputy director of finance and the chief medical director of the hospital

- Usman Imam, who spoke on behalf of EFCC, promised that the doctors' petition would receive adequate and prompt attention

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has promised to probe the allegations of fraud leveled against the management of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu state. regional reporter in Enugu, Ikpechukwu Chinedu, reports that the southeast zonal director of the commission, Usman Ahmed Imam, an assistant commission of police, spoke while addressing protesting doctors of UNTH who stormed the EFCC office on Thursday, December 6.

It was gathered that Imam who said he was new in the zone, having arrived Enugu on Monday, December 3, noted that he is not new to the system, assuring on behalf of the executive director of EFCC that their petition would receive adequate and prompt attention.

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Also speaking when the protesting doctors called on him, the zonal commissioner of Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC), Amedu Sule, assured that the probe would commence promptly.

He assured that contrary to the doctors' complaint that an earlier petition to the commission never saw the light of the day that he would personally ensure that investigation commences without delay.

Addressing the anti-corruption zonal heads, the president of association of resident doctors UNTH chapter, Isaiah Nwidenyi, said that doctors were being shortchanged by the deputy director of finance and the chief medical director. He alleged of a certain N3.2bn tax deductions which is not accounted for.

The doctors who alleged other financial fraud in the hospital called on both EFCC and ICPC to investigate the deputy director of finance, Chukwudi Onuchukwu, whom they claimed have continuously shortchanged them.

They are also requesting that the role of the outgoing CMD Christopher Amah be probed.

He said: “We have been shortchanged for a long time. We are no longer treated as resident doctors. What is due to us have been taken away from us. We don’t know how much is our salary; we don’t know how much is our arrears”

“Today we demand transparency, we demand honesty, openness, accountability. Let us know how much you have spent from our money, the money belongs to us. It is our efforts, it is our sufferings, it is our sweat, we will not allow you to take it away.”

Nwidenyi also accused the management of trying to divert a certain N100m sent by the federal government to settle their arrears.

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He said: “The fist N100 million sent was in April, the second one was in October. The first has been disbursed and in doing that the management said they were to share it with us, 70 per cent-30 per cent.

“They took part of the N70m representing 70% and started paying our advancement arrears. They have paid up to 60 people but they have not given us account of how much they have utilized out of the N70m they claim they want to give us. So we ask them for clarification, accountability, let us know how much of our money have been spent but they said no.

“The doctors are saying the aren’t accepting that; they should give us a breakdown of how that money have been used we don’t want to be shortchanged.

“Also the second N100m that came this October they are now saying that it does not belong to us. That the money was removed somewhere from their account and given to them; we smell fraud and we are not accepting that story. They have to be probed.

“There is also an illegal policy that is being implemented by the hospital management; they call it bond deduction. Any doctor that starts work in the hospital, his first call duty allowance is withheld; they remove it; they call it bond deduction.

“We don’t understand that argument. What they say is on that by the time we will be leaving the system they will refund us the money.

"It is not true, nobody has ever been refunded and it is illegal. It is ether they send the money to Treasury Single Account or they send the to the government which they don’t do.

"They send it to their private accounts and claim that it is bond. How can you remove N98,000 from over 150 new residents and N50,000 from over 130 House officers, it’s big money.”

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The doctors who embarked upon a week-long protest since Monday also took their protest to the state commissioner of police, Danmallam Mohammed.

Meanwhile, had previously reported that the resident doctors at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu, shutdown the hospital on Monday, December 3, over alleged fraud and mismanagement of their salaries and other entitlements by the management. ( -> We have upgraded to serve you better.

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