The Chief Medical Director of the Federal Medical Centre in Owo, is under investigation. Dr. Abiodun Olufemi Omotosho, who holds that post, is currently the target of an investigation by officials at the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) over allegations of corruption, and embezzlement in the hospital.
The Chief Medical Director, and other top officials at the hospital, are said to be on a so-called ‘black list’ of the EFCC for siphoning funds meant for the training of staff. What has also drawn attention, sources tell SaharaReporters, is the cutting down of some salaries of the hospital’s administrative staff.
SaharaReporters has learned that the CMD, and other top-level management doctors have come under scrutiny by federal officials for allegedly stealing hospital funds meant to purchase medical equipment worth millions of naira that has gone missing. The federal investigation is also focused on the mismanagement of funds budgeted for the purchase of Computer Tomography equipment best known as 'CT scan'.
An investigation by SaharaReporters found that the federal hospital had for years had inadequate and malfunctioning equipment that simply did not work in detecting dangerous diseases carried by patients who visited the hospital for treatment. As a result, hospital officials would end-up sending scores of patients to other medical facilities, including to the University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan, Oyo state capital.
Reliable sources inside the hospital told SaharaReporters that several petitions had been written and filed on the misappropriation of funds, but have yet to yield result.
It was further learned that the anti-graft federal agency had visited the hospital for a fourth time, following three prior visits, after Mr Omotosho had fled and evaded arrest.
In the latest instance an EFCC official was quoted as saying the security operatives were on the premises of the hospital acting on one petition written by some Medical Doctors at the hospital.
On the arrival of the anti-graft agency last week, speculation is that staff loyal to the medical director had ‘tipped-off his office, informing him that he needed to escape to avoid arrest.
In a series of telephone interviews many of our sources told Saharareporters that the EFCC officers were shocked and disappointed when they got to the top floor of the CMD office and was he was nowhere to be found.
He was said to have escaped through the backyard of the hospital, while his secretary, believed to be loyal to him, stalled agency officials. She reportedly told them that the director was holding an important meeting outside the premises of the hospital, and was unavailable.
She also claimed ignorance of any wronging by her boss, graft agency officials said.
It was a testy exchange, and the agency operatives became suspicious of the secretary’s claims. They threatened her with arrest her if she continued stalling and failed to tell them the truth.
"The truth is that this man is corrupt and has been evading arrest for a long time,” one of our sources told us. “We had protested through our letter, and petitions, and nothing came of it. Even his secretary is believed to be a loyal servant, because she knows the ins and outs of her boss".
"We presumed that the Director had pre-knowledge of the EFCC visit to the hospital last week,” another source told us, he was about to be arrested, and he immediately sneaked out of the premises to avoid being arrested".
"He has embezzled the funds of the hospital, using it for his womanizing, and patronizing of expensive local hotels here, and (also) in Abuja. What he now does” another source told SaharaReporters, “is to cut the salaries of administrative staff so as to meet up with (those) funds.
"See, we are seriously suffering under this man and only God can save us from this draconian ruler who knows nothing, other than to come to the office, watch TV, womanize with hospital funds, and visit hotels," said another source said out of frustration.
During the visit of the Officers of the EFCC to the hospital, it was disclosed that some members of the anti-graft unit had blocked the entrance to the gate, and manned strategic locations to the hospital.
The behavior of the CMD to some staff members was said to be suspicious, following his repeated abuse to staff to stop, quote, “spoiling his name in public during staff meetings.”
As a result of the on-going investigations, the Management of the Federal Medical Centre [FMC] in Owo through its Public Relations Officer [PRO], Mr. Yusuf Olarewaju has denied knowledge of knowing Barrister Ayodele Owoka, who was arrested for attempting to bribe officers of the Economics and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC].
In a statement issued from his office in Owo, Olarewaju said the only solicitor known to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) was, Barrister Taiwo Olukoyede, which the organization has been patronizing for some years now.
The statement further noted that Owoka, who claimed to be the solicitor to the FMC at the Ikoyi office of the EFCC, when stopped and questioned was behaved strange to the organization.
“We wish to state that the alleged linkage of the Medical Director with Barrister Ayodele Owoka, who is (also) being investigated for attempting to bribe EFCC officials, on behalf of the Medical Director, is far from the truth. It is note-worthy to state that Barrister Owoka has never been a solicitor to the Medical Director, on any matter, Mr. Yusuf Olarewaju wrote.
“The Medical Director had hired his own lawyer, named Taiwo Olukoyede, since the commencement of the investigation. (As of this time,) he has not disengaged him,” Mr. Yusuf Olarewaju said. All other officers involved in the investigation engaged their own lawyer, since the investigation is on-going. There was no point of a meeting between Barrister Ayodele Owoka, and the Medical Director.
“For clarity of purpose, the Medical Director was officially engaged in Abuja for Budget presentation to the National Assembly, (this was) during the week the alleged bribery took place,” Mr. Yusuf Olarewaju wrote. The Medical Director knows nothing about the bribery" the statement read in part.
The EFCC Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren had on Sunday issued a statement that Mr. Ayodele Owoka was been arrested for interrogation at the Commission’s office in Ikoyi, Lagos State. This took place while attempting to bribe a team of investigators following up the ongoing alleged fraudulent case against the FMC Medical Director, Abiodun Omotsho.
According to Uwujaren, the lawyer confessed that he was directed by the FMC boss to bribe the EFCC officials, with some millions of Naira.
SaharaReporters can authoritatively report that the Federal Ministry of Health has issued the Director a query to explain to the ministry his involvement in the petition written to the ministry, which was also copied to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Meanwhile, a source close to events at the hospital has told SaharaReporters of plans by loyal members of the Director to push him forward, to secretly tender a resignation letter of his position. The secret agreement includes a plan to fly him abroad to evade further embarrassment, and arrest, if released from detention.
A source at the Ikoyi's Office of the anti-graft agencies revealed that the CMD, Dr Abiodun Olufemi Omotosho, has currently been charged with contract inflation, abuse of office, stealing, embezzlement and the misappropriation of funds at the federal medical centre (FMC) in Owo.