Tuesday, 4 March 2014
Extreme Corruption And Abuse Of Office By Prof. Joseph Otubu: A Call To Put An Urgent Halt To This Evil
DELSUTH was established by the Delta State University Teaching Hospital Law 2008 and the Law makes it abundantly clear that it is for the use of the entire state in line with public service rules and regulations and the enabling law setting up the hospital.
Unfortunately this hospital has been so abused by the Chairman of the Board (Prof. Joseph Otubu) and he now runs the hospital as if it is a personal property of his which is established for the use of his relations and friends particularly in terms of employment and appointment to top management positions.
The law clearly stipulates the roles and responsibilities of the part-time Board of Management as well as the responsibilities of the top Management team. Indeed section 3 and 4 of the bill ascribe the responsibilities of guidelines and policy formulations for effective running of the hospital to the Board of Management. The Board ought to meet once quarterly (4 times yearly) and emergency meetings could be held if need be (section 12, subsection 3). The enabling law did not ascribe any specific functions to the Chairman of the Board or is he vested with the responsibilities of the day to day administration of the hospital. The day to day running of the hospital using guidelines and policies enunciated by the Board is vested in the Hospital management committee chaired by the Chief Medical Director (see section 18 of the bill).
Regrettably, this is hardly the situation in the hospital with the Chairman (Prof. J.A.M. Otubu) of the Board practically assuming the functions of the hospital management committee and running the hospital as if he is the Chief Executive Officer. This has been a source of incessant crisis with members of the management team that has certainly impeded the rate of progress of the hospital. He asserts and intimidates everybody including the board members that the former Governor of the state is his younger cousin and that his father trained the former Governor and therefore he does not have a right to tell him how to run the hospital and moreover when the hospital is established in his village.
The Board Chairman is extremely high-handed; he ensured that till date there is no functioning tender’s board and he seem not to be in a hurry in ensuring that one becomes effective and operational but rather undertakes unilateral, arbitrary award and inflation of contracts; overstepping the bounds of the office; unilateral appointments, designations and deployments of staff (he personally signs the letters to this effect); witch-hunting; discrimination, among several others.
If this hospital must grow and meets the vision of the founding fathers, and if the government must avert impeding ethnic unrest over the hospital, then the Board as presently constituted must be dissolved and an enquiry set up to look into the corrupt practices and gross abuse of office by Prof. Otubu and his cronies.
The issues are highlighted below:
1. Arbitrary and unilateral employment of all staff with collection of varying amount ranging from N250,000 to N300,000 from each candidate using his driver (Samuel Ogide) as the courier for collecting money to him. No time since his appointment as the Board Chairman has employment been in line with due process. Adverts are not done, no short listing based on established guidelines or criteria and no interview panels constituted prior to employment. After he employs staff and they have resumed, he would after some months set-up a committee to ratify his sole employment. A very worrisome and most recent saga is his employment of 75 nurses and all were through his community agents he gave slots to and whom collected N250,000 from each of the nurses on his behalf. When the head of nursing (Mrs. Eunice Williams) during a meeting with very senior management staff, some DELSUTH Board members and senior members of Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria in attendance raised objection to the processes by which the nurses were going to be engaged, he almost physically assaulted the Head of Nursing who had politely suggested that rather than the arbitrary appointments of nurses by him, that a formal interview in line with due process would be advisable and that employing 75 nurses by himself alone would jeopardize the possibility of getting the best for the hospital. He had to be physically restrained by a senior professor but not after he threatened as usual to get her sacked (see attached letter of Head of nursing to the contractor that engaged her from the UK and marked A). This lady has since fled the country for fear of being attacked.
2. Ridiculously, to ensure that the candidates that have paid for employment gets in immediately he personally signs letters of appointment. See attached copy of letter of appointment marked B.
3. Over 70% of staff engaged in the hospital are Oghara indigenes from Ethiope West. This policy is deliberate by him and often denies other ethnic group positions, and would only consider others only if he does not get his relations or Oghara indigenes. Pleases see attached report of the details of the first tranche of staff employed (Marked C) and you would appreciate that Oghara/Ethiope west constituted over 70% of employed staff.
4. Deliberate pursue of appointment of Oghara indigene as Top management staff and to positions of HODships. Worst still without consulting with management he goes ahead to issue letters personally signed by himself appointing these relations of his from Oghara into this positions by memos personally signed by him. Examples of Oghara indigenes holding such top positions are:
a. Mr. Solomon Oyagbhara – Chief Security Officer
b. Mr. Joel Adjekukor – Acting Chief Accountant (was actually employed as a principal accountant because of his cognate experience, but the Chairman unilaterally promoted him to the rank of Assistant Chief Accountant and made him the Acting Chief Accountant)
c. Dr. Onome Ogueh – HOD, Obstetrics & Gynaecology
d. Mr. Samuel Ogide – Acting Transport Officer (even though he does not know how to read and write)
e. Mrs. Betty Abebor – HOD, Hospital Library
f. Mr. Iteme Emmanuel – HOD, Public Relations
g. Mr. Richard Ogide – Project Manager , Drug Revolving Fund (DRF)
h. Mrs. E. M. Skinn as Acting Director of Administration (the husband of this young lady is his relation in Koko and the mother of the young lady is also his cousin). This young lady is at best qualified to be a Senior Admin Officer. He brought her in on temporary appointment and till date she has not had any formal interview for her credentials to be verified (yet is paraded by the Chairman as the Acting DA having chased away the duly employed Director of Administration to enable him actualize his game plan of installing this relation of his).
i. Mr. Iteme Emmanuel – Chairman, Diesel Monitoring Committee
j. Mr. Ufuoma Ochuko James – Head, general accounts unit
k. Monday Akpodinyo – Head Legal Unit
Attached are letters personally signed by Prof. Otubu to these effect.
5. Persecution, maligning and deliberate attempt to always destroy top management staffs that are not Oghara indigenes. The list include:
a. Mr. Dan Imishue (Ughelli Indigene) who was seconded from the ministry of health to the hospital to help set up the administrative wing of the hospital. He was sent away by a letter personally signed by the Chairman just before he had accomplished the assignment for which he was posted to the hospital.
b. Same applied to Mrs. P.O. Adjarho (Agbarho Indigene) a Chief Accountant seconded from the Accountant Generals office to help set up the accounts department. The immediate past Chief Medical Director of the hospital
c. Dr. Seyi Oyesola had a grueling time under him and he used his relationship with the past Governor of the state to ensure that his contract and tenure was not renewed.
d. A former acting head of maintenance (Isoko Indigene) and a seasoned generator mechanic was not only driven away from DELSUTH, he was almost physically moved him out of the premises by the Chairman of the Board.
e. DELSUTH Deputy Director of Administration, Mr. Onwuka Thomas (Aniocha Indigene), has decided to “keep off the (DELSUTH) environment for security reasons” following alleged “harassment, intimidation and threat to my life” instigated by the Board Chairman. His appointment got the ascent of the Governor and less than two weeks of assumption of duties, he was chased away by the Chairman (Prof. Otubu). Please see his attached memo referred to the Board to this effect (Marked E).
f. Very recently Dr. Lawrence Omo-Aghoja (Okpe Indigene), the Chairman Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC) of the hospital which he sent on suspension based on false allegations cooked up by himself. The process he adopted falls short of due process, gross violations of public service rules and regulations, and contravenes the law establishing the hospital including the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria. He wants to destroy this young man so he can have his way to install his relation Dr. Onome Ogueh as the next CMD of the hospital. To get this scheming of his through, as against the statutory provisions in the enabling law setting up the hospital, on how a CMD is appointed, he single handedly suggested 3 names including that of his relation (Dr. Onome Ogueh) to the Board and forced his way to get them to approve this for him to send to the Governor to appoint Onome Ogueh as the CMD. See the extract of that Board meeting attached and Marked as F. The case of suspension of the CMAC is now a subject of litigation in a young hospital.
6. He ensured that till date there is no functioning tender’s board and he seem not to be in a hurry in ensuring that one becomes effective and operational but rather undertakes unilateral, arbitrary award and inflation of contracts to his personal companies or fake and non-existent once cooked up by him and his cronies like Prof. Angela Okolo, Mr. Bonny Smart, Mrs. E. M. skinn and Barr. Victor Adigwe. No contractor is registered in line with due process with the establishment because they are fake and cooked up by them. They are masters in contract splitting and inflation of contracts. So far since the inception of the Board he has spent over N500,000,000 without a tenders Board and all the approvals/spending are done by him and his cronies, only to get the Board to ratify these. The non-management members of the Board usually are all part of the racketeering and get their share of the inflated contract.
a. See attached documents G, H & I to confirm that Prof. Otubu unilaterally awards contracts. He ensured till date that the tender’s board is not functional
b. He awards contract to his own companies – see items 3, 4, 5 & 6 on attached document G. the items here were awarded to SENFORCE INSURANCE BROKER’S LTD a company his has his personal interest. He paid the company N4.8 million naira cash on 21/04/2010 by contract splitting, his approval limit being only N1 million. One wonders what they actually insured as the hospital vehicles were insured by government upon supply.
c. See item 7, 8, 9 & 13 on attached document G were awarded on 29/04/2010 by contract splitting.
d. Items 10, 11, 12 & 14 on attached document G were awarded on the 29/04/2010 by contract splitting.
e. Items 33 & 34 in attached document H which is quoted for a total of N1.6 million was never supplied to the hospital at anytime. If you doubt this, please undertake a sting operation on the hospital.
f. Items 43 on attached document H is spurious because the university footed the bill for this visit including paying Prof. Otubu’s driver his allowances for the days the exercise lasted. Regrettably, Prof. Otubu also approved payment of same allowance to his driver from the hospital’s account.
g. Items 60, 61, 62 and 63 on attached document H were undertaken by contract splitting which amounts to financial crime.
h. Items 66, 67 & 68 on attached document H again is by contract splitting and all approved and paid same day. What exact servicing of generators that gulps this whooping sum in one go.
i. Attached document I shows release of N120,000,000 to the hospital. The Chairman needs to explain what exactly this money was spent for. Imagine item B6 maintenance of vehicle and other assets at almost N6 million. This is ridiculous as the vehicles were just barely supplied and all brand new, and had been scarcely used. So what exactly was this huge sum spent on. What other assets were they maintaining with this money when indeed they had spend almost N3 million on maintaining the buildings.
j. N20 million is released monthly for diesel procurement, yet the hospital spend less than N4 million naira monthly on diesel. What does Prof. Otubu do with the balance and why should he collect far more than what is needed. Is this in line with financial regulations?
k. Since December 2010, staff of the hospital has not been paid salaries till date. The main reason being that monies meant for salaries has bee shared by Prof. Otubu and his accomplice (Prof. Angela Okolo, Prof. Phillip Umebese, Barr. Victor Adigwe and Mr. Bonny Smart). Secondly he tripled the staff strength of the hospital illegally after collecting N300,000.00 from each staff employed thereby bloating the wage bill.
l. There is gross financial misappropriation, embezzlement and crime in DELSUTH. The government must speedily investigate this.
Finally, it is our submission that if this hospital is to achieve the targets for which it was setup, then government must urgently address this ongoing misnomer as a matter of priority. The Board must be dissolved and the government setup a special task force to oversee the hospital and undertake the functions of a part-time Board until the enquiry into the activities of Prof. Otubu and his Board is fully undertaken. This is only way to convince other ethnic groups that government is not part of the ethnic cleansing and marginalization being undertaken by Prof. Otubu and ensure the much desired peace cherished by all and sundry.
Omamoke Akpesiri Peretmode Ebiere Eboka Dike Eyituoyo Temisan
Urhobo nation Ijaw Nation Delta North Itsekiri Nation