An indicted former Medical Director of the Central Hospital, Ughelli, Delta State, Moses Eyovwerhuvwu, was re-elected to run the hospital for another year amidst intimidation and threats to the lives of hospital staffers.
The manipulated second coming of the indicted former head of the hospital has continued to generate controversy both in the hospital and at the Delta State Hospital Management Board (HMB).
It would be recalled that SaharaReporters had in 2014 exposed fraudulent activities of Mr. Eyovwerhuvwu while he was serving as Medical Director of the hospital, where he allegedly bought a chemistry auto analyzer machine for the hospital for N1.2 million, while the market price of the machine was N300,000. Following the exposure of Mr. Eyovwerhuvwu's illicit activities in the hospital, the second in less than two years, the Delta State Hospital Management Board (HMB) set up a probe panel which indicted him.
Speaking to SaharaReporters, a senior management staff of the hospital who pleaded anonymity disclosed that the manipulated re-election of Mr. Eyovwerhuvwu was forced on staff and management of the hospital following a series of intimidation and threats by the Ovie of Ughelli Kingdom, Oharisi III.
“During the reign of Mr. Eyovwerhuvwu as MD in the hospital some years back, the Ovie of Ughelli Kingdom, Oharisi III, always received bribes from the MD. And the monarch always, in turn, protected him. Even when he was indicted in 2014 by the HMB, the monarch fought tooth and nail to have him back, but that failed,” the staff said, adding, “Just two weeks ago after the completion of the tenure of Mr. Cyril Abere as MD, some senior management staff came out to contest for the position, but the monarch came up with a series of intimidation and threats. He threatened that unless Mr. Eyovwerhuvwu heads the hospital again, heads will roll.”
Another senior management staff of the hospital, who recounted the fraudulent antecedents of Mr. Eyovwerhuvwu during his first tenure as MD of the hospital, named Mr. Ugbo and Mrs. Uvieghara as those alleged to have been used by the monarch to cause problems in the hospital.
“Dr. Eyovwerhuvwu is fraudulent and anything to bring him back to the hospital will spell doom for us in the hospital because we have tested him before and we know what he caused at the hospital. Sometime in 2013 and 2014, he was involved in some form of racketeering with the former pharmacist of the same hospital, Mr. Oscar Amatesiro, who has since been transferred out of the hospital by the HMB as a form of stemming the tide of illicit activities that bedeviled the hospital.
“Dr. Eyovwerhuvwu was indicted alongside 39 other employees of the board, most of whom were sacked, while others were demoted and made to refund certain amounts of monies to the treasury of the state government. He is being forced on us by the traditional ruler of Ughelli because of his selfish interest and kickbacks from Eyovwerhuvwu,” the senior staff stated.
According to documents that indicted Mr. Eyovwerhuvwu in 2014, perused by SaharaReporters, he was found wanting for fraud and embezzlement of public funds in line with PSR 04401 (I) (IV) XX (I) and section 1501 (C) in the rules and regulations of the board and asked to refund of over N600,000 with evidence of the refund while his promotion was withheld for two years.
An impeccable source disclosed that the Ughelli monarch has continued to mount serious pressure on the Hospital Management Board that indicted his candidate, Mr. Eyovwerhuvwu, for possible and immediate rectification as the substantive MD of the hospital.
Our correspondent visited the hospital on Friday and noted that Mr. Eyovwerhuvwu was occupying the office of the MD, but he refused to comment on his election.
When contacted, the public relations officer of the HMB board, Mary Eyagbe, denied knowledge of the emergence of Mr. Eyovwerhuvwu as MD, saying, “We are yet to get any information from the management of the hospital on that effect, so I can’t comment nor acknowledge the change in the leadership of the hospital.”