The conspiracy to lynch a Presidential directive rocking the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Uselu, Benin (FNPH-Uselu) and the Federal Ministry of Health in an era of supposed CHANGE is extremely embarrassing and leaves much to be desired. The Presidential directive for the immediate reinstatement of some staff of FNPH- Uselu which was issued in August 2017 is yet to be obeyed.
The questions in the minds of many observers are why should it take the Federal Ministry of Health over three months to transmit the Presidential directive to the Medical director that long? Could the accusation be true that they were allegedly plotting ways and means to lynch the directive?
It is alleged that the conspirators decided to send a letter filled with deliberate ambiguity and typographical errors to the Medical Director, Dr. Sunday Osasu Olotu in November 2017, who will later write back to the Federal Ministry of Health seeking for further clarifications thus buying time to cover the tracks of numerous acts of corruption in the hospital.
There are several petitions to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Dr S.O Olotu. The investigation by the EFCC appears to proceed ad infinitum. In the interim the former Public Relations Officer of the Hospital Mr. Efe Stewart and the Head of Administration of the hospital Princess Oriri Akenzua denied knowledge of the receipt of the directive for the reinstatement of Dr. A.O Lawani and 10 others which was erroneously written as “Dr. A.O Lawan and 10 others” in the print and electronic media.
The bewildering scenario and the exacerbation of the misery of the reinstated staff following the brazing denial of such a directive, caught the attention of the Edo State Commissioner of Police Mr. Babatunde Johnson Kokumo, who wrote to the Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Folorunsho Adewole seeking for clarification on the names of those who were beneficiaries of the August 2017 Presidential directive for the immediate reinstatement of some staff of FNPH-Uselu.
To date sources reveal that Prof. Isaac Folorunsho Adewole is yet to respond to the request of the Edo State Commissioner of Police, thus lending credence to the widely held believe of the conspiracy to lynch Presidential directives for the reinstatement of staff of FNPH-Uselu.
Another sordid twist was added to the plot to “lynch” the Presidential directive for the immediate reinstatement of the staff of FNPH-Uselu. The Medical Director allegedly having found that the typographical error/ambiguity theory was no longer gaining traction as a reason for not releasing the letters of reinstatement then began to cite cases instituted by the victimized staff challenging their illegal suspension/sack as the next reason for his inability to obey the Presidential directives.
For the records the reinstated staff as a mark of respect for the then Acting President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who issued the directive for their immediate reinstatement; informed their counsel to withdraw the cases. The case at the Industrial court was promptly withdrawn and the notice of discontinuance was sent to the Vice President, Minister of Health, Head of Service of the Federation, Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Health, Head of Department Human Resources Federal Ministry of Health and the Head Legal Unit Federal Ministry of Health.
It is unfortunate that Dr. S.O Olotu could treat the directive from the then Acting President with contempt and disdain. Dr. S.O Olotus tenure expired in March 2016; and he thereafter was issued a letter as Acting Medical Director by Dr. Osagie Ehanire the Minister of state for Health, till June 2017 when his tenure was renewed by the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
The reinstated staffs claim that the Presidency has been informed of their plight but yet their condition remains in status thus making their situation akin to a scenario were the tail is wagging the Dog.
The chronic crisis rocking FNPH-Uselu arose from a failed attempt by the Immediate Past Medical Director of FNPH-Uselu, Dr. (Mrs) Olabisi Feyisayo Ihenyen to cover up massive sleaze committed by her in concert with the Immediate Past defunct Board of Management of FNPH-Uselu Chaired by Dr.(Mrs) Abieyuwa Patricia Osemwenkha and some officials of the Federal Ministry of Health especially one Dr. Wapada Balami who was the then Director of Hospital Services.
Following several petitions from some individuals and Unions in the hospital bordering on acts of corruption, gross impunity and administrative malfeasance a panel was set up to address the crisis rocking FNPH-Uselu by the then Minister of Health Prof. Onyebuchi Christian Chukwu in December 2011.The panel Chaired by Rabi Adamu mni indicted Dr. Sunday Osasu Olotu for absconding from his duty post and collecting salary for several months during the period of his abscondment.
The panel recommended the disqualification of Dr. S.O Olotu from the race for the post of Medical Director of FNPH-Uselu because he absconded from his duty post for several months without approval on which account the panel recommended his dismissal from service. A careful perusal of the True Certified Copy of the Rabi Adamu mni Panel Report reveals the following:
1) That “Dr. S.O Olotu actually admitted to have left for Britain since December, 2007, without obtaining any approval before proceeding on Study Leave Without Pay, punishable under PSR 030402 (e)”see B (i) Pg4.
2) That “Dr. S.O Olotu later applied for the Study Leave Without Pay while in the UK through a letter dated 19th March, 2008. The Leave took effect from 19th March 2008. This is punishable under PSR 030413,LIABLE TO DISMISSAL FROM SERVICE” see B (ii) Pg4.
3) That “Dr. S.O Olotu kept receiving salary fraudulently till May; 2008.His salary was stopped after receiving May 2008 salary a clear violation of PSR 100228 (a) Pg4.
4) That “every step surrounding his foreign study, promotion and consideration for the post of Medical Director was characterized by anomalies suggestive of favouritism from the former Medical Director; Dr. (Mrs) Olabisi Feyisayo Ihenyen” see B (vi) Pg5.
5) That “both the former Medical Director (Dr.Mrs Olabisi Feyisayo Ihenyen) and the Board Chairman (Dr. Mrs Abieyuwa Patricia Osemwenkha) erred by organizing and commissioning the projects after the expiration of their tenures” see D (i) Pg5.
6) That “the borehole was actually over-inflated at the cost of over Nine Million Naira (N9m). The sight value is not more than Two Million Naira (N2m)” see D (iii) Pg6.
7) That “Hon.Friday Itulah was not in the best position to effect the commissioning ceremony, but rather, the Honourable Minister of Health (Professor Christian Onyeabuchi Chukwu), or the Honourable Minister of State for Health (Dr. Ali Pate)” see D (ii) Pg6.
8) That “structural defects and substandard fittings were actually sighted at both completed and uncompleted buildings” see D (vi) Pg6.
9) That “the name of Hon. Friday Itulah was engraved in all the commissioning plaques instead of the Hon. Minister of Health or Hon. Minister of State for Health” see D (vii) Pg6.
10) That “the Board Members actually collected N100, 000:00 each meant for buying GSM Handsets a phenomenon termed the “Last Supper” by some petitioners” see F (ii) Pg6.
11) That “evidence abounds on general mal-administration of the hospital by the erstwhile Medical Director (Dr. Mrs Olabisi Feyisayo Ihenyen)” see F (iii) Pg6.
12) That “in view of all the anomalies and acts of misconduct on his part, Dr. S.O Olotu should be disqualified from being considered for the post of Medical Director” see B (i) Pg7.
13) That “Dr. S.O Olotu should return the salaries he fraudulently received back to government coffers with immediate effect” see B (ii) Pg7.
14) That “the Federal Ministry of Health should issue him a query bordering on circumstances surrounding his controversial Study Leave Without Pay” see B (iii a & iii b) Pg7.
15) That “the Federal Ministry of Health should recall the former Medical Director (Dr. (Mrs) Olabisi Feyisayo Ihenyen) to answer questions on her motive for neglecting the Honourable Minister (Professor Christian Onyeabuchi Chuckwu) and inviting Hon. Friday Itulah to commission the projects” D (i) Pg8.
A member of staff who did not want his name in prints said "some of the reinstated staff did not receive any query, neither did they appear before any disciplinary panel or the Board of Management of FNPH-Uselu, before they were illegally suspended or sacked".
As an afterthought, some of the reinstated staff were framed up on phantom Criminal Charges by Dr. S.O Olotu and his cronies.These staff have since been discharged and acquitted by the Courts. One of those who framed some of the reinstated staff was Mr. Efe Stewart who was employed as a Contract Administrative Officer II (Public Relations Officer), in 2011 few weeks to the expiration of the tenure of Dr.(Mrs) O.F Ihenyen as Medical Director, for reasons best known to her against the provisions of the Public Service Rules, 2008.
Mr. Efe Stewart was also the one who assaulted the cameraman of the senior staff of Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Uselu who were reinstated by the Presidency on the 3rd day of January 2018, within the hospital premises. Mr. Efe Stewart with the apparent permission of the Medical Director, Dr S.O Olotu actively participated in political activities in clear contravention of the Public Service Rules 030422 and 030423 (2008).
Against the rules, Mr. Efe purchased nomination forms for the post of All Progressive Congress Party (APC) Chairmanship Candidate for Egor Local Government Area in Edo State. To date his name is alleged to be on the hospital nominal and pay roll.
In fact, the drama that played out on the day in question was shown on the 7pm News Bulletin of the NTA Benin Network Centre on Wednesday the 24th day of January 2018, when he lied that he had resigned as a staff of FNPH-Uselu several months before the APC Primaries in Egor Local Government Area.
Mr. Efe Stewart attended the Egor APC Chairmanship primaries using the camera and the cameraman of FNPH-Uselu Mr. Frank Umokoro, who was captured in the NTA Video Clip. Mr. Efe Stewart lived up to the billing of his “ reputation”, when he held the Elders of Egor APC hostage and thereafter shot sporadically (see Pg 42 of The Nation, Pg 29 of New Telegraph, Pg 12 of Vanguard and Pg 7 of The Guardian newspapers of Friday, January 26, 2018). Mr. Efe Stewart was initially arraigned at an Egor Magistrate Court on 29th January 2018 with a defective charge he was rearranged on the 30th day of January 2018 when he was granted bail.
Another individual who was used to frame them was Ms. Taiwo Ifueko Agho a former Administrative staff of Edo State Post Primary Education Board (Edo SPPEB) who made an inappropriate transfer of service to FNPH-Uselu as Assistant Chief Social Welfare Officer (without any cognate experience as a Social Welfare Officer) and was promoted six (6) months later to the post of Chief Social Welfare Officer under the watch of Dr. S. O Olotu and the Dr. (Mrs) A.P Osemwenkha led Immediate Past defunct Board of FNPH- Uselu.
The cohorts of Dr. S.O Olotu, Mr. Efe Stewart and Ms T.I Agho recruited a suborn witness, one Mr. Sunday Adeche a driver with the Edo SPPEB to bear false witness against some of the reinstated staff to the effect that they made an attempt to “steal” the official records of Ms T.I Agho from Edo SPPEB.
The then Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Okhoro Division of the Nigeria Police; DSP Arowosegbe allegedly refused the pleadings of Dr. S.O Olotus’ cohorts that the matter be charged to court, because their allegations were frivolous and could not be substantiated. A couple of days thereafter the DSP Arowosegbe was transferred out of Okhoro Division and a petition was preferred against some of the reinstated staff by Barr Edoba Omoregie to the then Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police Zone 5, Mr. Musa Daura.
In the course of investigation by the Police, some of the reinstated staff were invited to the office of the AIG Zone 5 on the 5th day of November 2014. They were shocked when they were hurled to the court same day without thorough investigations for reasons best known to the IPO AIG Zone 5, ASP Dumpe Bonaka. ASP Dumpe Bonaka under the heat of cross examination agreed that he never interviewed the custodians of the official records of Ms. T.I Agho at Edo SPPEB (the scene of “crime”) to confirm if there was any attempt to steal her file, he retorted “I only visited the place but I did not investigate”.
Furthermore ASP Dumpe Bonaka did not also investigate the alibi as documented in the accused statements that they were at their respective duty posts on the dates in question for reasons best known to him.
Dr S.O Olotu hurriedly convened a meeting of the Board of Management of FNPH-Uselu (Chaired by Dr.(Mrs) A.P Osemwenkha; a staff of UNIBEN/UBTH) between 3rd-6th of November 2014, around the period the case was charged to court to rubber stamp his acts of gross impunity and administrative rascality. The then Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Linus Awute was informed that the case was phantom but he chose to “look the other way”.
In June 2017, Journalists asked Prof. Isaac Folorusho Adewole while on an official visit to Benin why he did not include a visit to FNPH-Uselu as part of his itinerary. He masterfully claimed ignorance of the crisis rocking the hospital and proceeded to the house of a prominent Chief in Benin with Dr. S.O Olotu for what was reported on Television to be a private dinner! The video clips of the unfortunate scenario are available online.
To date, Dr. S.O Olotu has been unable to produce the queries or the report of the panel that tried some of the suspended or sacked staff of FNPH-Uselu who were reinstated by the Presidency. Also disgusting is the alleged inability of Dr. S.O Olotu to produce the signed minutes of the Board of Management meeting of November 2014, were the alleged decision to suspend or sack some staff of FNPH-Uselu was taken.
Sources claim that the signature on the minutes of the November 2014 meeting would have been forged if not for the fact that some members of the Immediate Past defunct Board of FNPH-Uselu were staff of the Federal Ministry of Health. A very senior staff of the Federal Ministry of Health who craved anonymity described Dr. S.O Olotu as an utterly irritating individual with a penchant for framing his staff, engaging in endless strife, needless acrimony and pointless belligerence whose regular visit to the Federal Ministry of Health has become a source of concern to all.
In an era of change it is shocking that it is taking over three (4) months to correct an apparently deliberate typographical error and omission. The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Health Mr. Clement Osarenoma Uwaifo a Bini indigene should be very worried by the absurdities going on at FNPH-Uselu allegedly orchestrated from the Federal Ministry of Health where the Minister of State for Health; Dr. Osagie Ehanire is also a Bini indigene!
A full page advertorial by Senator Ehigie Uzamere on page 70, of Thisday newspaper of December 19, 2011, discredited the Rabi Adamu mni Administrative Panel by calling the panel a Kangaroo Committee.
There are strong allegations that as a reward for his role in the appointment of Dr. S.O Olotu Senator Ehigie Uzamere’s relative was given the contract to build the emergency unit of FNPH-Uselu. There are also rife allegations that the wives and children of some politicians were enrolled as ghost workers in the hospital as a means of compensating them for their role in aiding the appointment of an absconder as Medical Director of FNPH-Uselu. To date the data and biometric capturing of staff on the IPPIS Platform that began in 2014 is still ongoing to date. It is curious that after several directives from the Head of Service of the Federation FNPH-Uselu is still allegedly not on the IPPIS platform to date.
One of the staff who was reinstated post humously was the longest serving Head of Department of FNPH-Uselu, Late Barr Pharm Peter Olusesan Esan who was allegedly framed by Mr. Efe Stewart and the then Miss. Dolor Perdita Onoriode (now Mrs. Stewart-Efe Perdita Onoriode as advertised in the classified: change of name column in The Nigerian Observer of Friday, December 15,2017 page 23), because he gave a statement considered to be adverse to the ICPC, who were investigating the alleged fraudulent activities of his deputy Pharm Cliff Ediae (Now Head of Department) who is alleged to be the owner of a Pharmacy shop (Iyosayi Pharmacy) less than four (4) meters adjacent to FNPH-Uselu, where patients of the hospital are been diverted for treatments.
The Presidency must now take urgent necessary steps to ensure that directive is strictly obeyed, if it wants to be taken seriously. It's incumbent on the APC Presidency to now prove that the CHANGE slogan does not represent CHAIN to the ordinary and powerless Nigerians without connection in Aso Rock.
Erasmus, A Public Affairs Analyst writes from Lagos
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