The police in Ondo State have arrested the account manager of the State Specialist Hospital, Aminu Kamilu, for allegedly absconding with the salaries and allowances of striking nurses and other staff of the hospital located in Ikare Akoko. Mr. Kamilu was earlier declared wanted. 

Femi Joseph, Ondo State Police Spokesman

A source at the government-owned hospital told SaharaReporters that the arrest and investigation of Mr. Kamilu was triggered by an improper withdrawal of funds meant for the payment of salaries. The source stated that the government on March 4, 2016 deposited funds at Heritage Bank Plc. for payment of the November 2015 salary of the hospital staff. He added that information about the deposit was immediately given to Mr. Kamilu. 

The source disclosed that the hospital’s nurses and other workers complained to the management when they failed to receive any payment alert from their bank. In turn, the asked Heritage Bank why the workers’ salaries had not been paid.  

“The Ikare Akoko branch of Heritage Bank confirmed that funds for the November 2015 salaries had been credited,” said one source. However, the bank stated that Mr. Kamilu had also withdrawn N7 million from the bank’s branch in Akure, leaving insufficient funds to pay workers’ salaries. 

“It is believed that Aminu Kamilu absconded with the health workers’ salaries. I understand that he and his family fled to his private residence, which is why he was declared wanted,” one of our sources revealed. 

The source added that nurses and other health workers staged protests against the theft of their salaries and the initial nonchalant attitude of the management when the issue of unpaid salaries was first reported. 

Police spokesman Femi Joseph confirmed that O.S. Dr. Olatunde, the Chief Medical Director of the State SpecialistHospital in Ikare Akoko, had petitioned the State Commissioner of Police, Hilda Ibifuro-Harrison, on the alleged theft of health workers’ salaries. 

He said the petition accused Mr. Kamilu of defrauding the management to the tune of seven million naira, part of more than N23 million that was to cover staff salaries for November 2015. 

Mr. Joseph also disclosed that police detectives arrested Mr. Kamilu, who had fled with his family. He revealed that the arrested hospital accountant confessed to investigators that he withdrew N7 million for personal reasons.  

The police spokesman added that the branch manager of Heritage Bank, Akure, as well as the secretary of the hospital in Ikare Akoko, Olaniyi Ayodele, who also counter-signed the cheque for the withdrawal of the money, conspired with Mr. Kamilu. He told our correspondent that the secretary told investigators he did not know what the account manager wanted to do with the withdrawn money. 

The police confirmed that some employees of Heritage Bank had been arrested and were talking to investigators.

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