A JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY MEDICAL AND HEALTH WORKERS’ UNION OF NIGERIA, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA NURSES AND MIDWIVES AND NIGERIAN UNION OF ALLIED HEALTH PROFESSIONALS ON THURSDAY 5TH NOVEMBER, 2015 AT AYUBA WABBA HOUSE, DURUMI, GARKI – ABUJA

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We are here today to re-emphasize our position on the dangers of allowing Dr. Uwakwem to resume back to FMC Owerri, in spite of the various glaring act of misconduct against her especially as highlighted in our minority report where we departed from the majority report and our letter to the Head of Service dated 29th September, 2015 requesting that the affairs of the committee be re-directed in the interest of the public service.

In a report hurriedly written without our input and in desperation to ensure that the matter is swept under the carpet before the resumption of the Minister of Health who would be coming with the change mantra of Mr. President, the said Dr. Uwakwem was exonerated from any financial misappropriation and corruption. Nothing can be farther from the truth.

Facts available have it that the Medical Director is in breach of Public Service rule 030301, 030402, 100230, 030404 which borders on Misconduct and Serious Misconduct and Financial Regulation S.316 (ii) which deals with virement from one Head in the recurrent expenditure to another Head of Account in the capital expenditure being prohibited amongst other infractions details of which are contained in our minority report and our previous correspondences to the Head of Civil Service of the Federation.

Below are the various incontrovertible facts against Dr. Uwakwem as contained in our minority report.

 

  1. Misconduct Bordering on Dishonesty — 030301 (g)

We were all at the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, where the gas piping contract was presented as a contract already executed, certificate of completion issued but the truth of the matter is that the job was yet to be carried out. On our visit to the site on August, 2015 of the purported building housing the Gas pipes, we only saw a bare ground as could be attested to by the picture taken on the occasion which forms part of the report submitted to the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity on Tuesday 3rd November, 2015. However, we have pictures here dated 5th October, 2015 showing that the job which certificate of completion was issued is just on-going. Could this level of betrayal of trust be allowed in this era of change that the citizenry are looking up to in all facets of the Nigerian society? This borders on dishonesty.

 

  1. Serious Misconduct — 030402 (f) & (rn)

The issue of virement cannot be over-emphasized. Issue of virement from one sub-head to another is authorized by Office of the Accountant General but in this case, it was obtained from the National Assembly vide a letter dated 22 December, 2014, but the letter was signed on 25-28th February, 2015 thereby casting serious doubt on the authenticity of the said letter in the first place. S.316 (ii) of financial regulations 2009 provides that application for virement should be submitted with copies to the Accountant-General and Auditor-General of the Federation and approval obtained not later than the 10th month of the budget year. No application submitted after the 10th month shall be considered.

iii. Virement from one Head of account in the Recurrent Expenditure estimates to another Head of Account in Capital Expenditure estimates shall not be allowed and vice versa.

This act is tantamount to false claim against Government Officials (030402) (f) arid (m) which tantamount to misappropriation.

 

  1. Misconduct Bordering on Dishonesty

Overtime allowance is provided for by Rule 130117 of PSR 2008 stated that overtime allowance shall be paid to officers on GL,14 and below. However, Dr. Uwakwem, who is not covered by the circular has with impunity, enjoyed the overtime allowance against the provision of the Rules. This is brazen act of dishonesty. PSR 030301 (g).

 

  1. Gross Misconduct Bordering on Nepotism

There are various cases of high-handedness leveled and proved against Dr. Uwákwem which included amongst others — the lady denied compassionate leave as provided by PSR 100230 to bury her mother, the suspension of the practice license of Dr. B.O. Uwakwem, the husband of Dr. Uwakwem by the medical and Dental Council of Nigeria but continued to be accommodated by the hospital as a consultant contrary to the letter MDCN/914//VOL.1/59 dated 7th September, 2007. This borders on nepotism. PSR 030402 (r).

 

We are aware that all this maneuvering and haste to conclude the assignment of the committee and re-instate Dr. Uwakwem is an attempt to sweep under the carpet her atrocities before the resumption of the Minister of Health who would be coming with the change mantra of President Buhari’s Government and halt the on-going business as usual.

 

We therefore demand that rather than the attempt to re-instate Dr. Uwakwem, even against equity and good conscience, she should be appropriately interdicted as provided by PSR 030404 so that due process should commence on the allegation hanging on her.

 

Meanwhile, we wish to use this medium to appeal and direct our members to remain calm and refuse to be distracted or provoked by rumours or insidious face-book comments as we have assurances that the Government is handling the issue appropriately.

 

You are to await further directive on the next line of action.