When in 2006, Dr (Mrs) Angela Uwakwem, a Chief Consultant Ophthalmologist displaced the then Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Owerri Medical Director, Dr Ohadugha in a boardroom politics, not many knew that a new queen of corruption has just emerged in the health sector.
Although she had earlier being an Acting MD in 2003 before she came back in 2007, her stay has brought the once revered hospital to her knees due to her corrupt practices, as atrocities upon evil are committed without delay and careless abandon.
As a pointer to the evil days that will befall FMC, it was discovered that her Dr Benneth Uwakwem husband who claims to have studied Dental Medicine in Philippines had qualifications that are laced with lies. The disciplinary committee of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCAN) set up to investigate the husband claim as a Dental Surgeon sent him back for his Houseman ship in University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) as a level 17 civil servant.
He works in FMC, Owerri and once headed the Dental Department despite his alleged quackery qualification. Because of the husband, Mrs Angela has made the unit management very independent of the hospital management.
The spirit of fraud invoked.
In 2014, the staff arrears for 2013/2014 was released by the Ministry of Health to pay workers. Typical of her style, one of our reliable sources revealed that she went to Abuja and with her cronies always willing to assist her; she got a fake virement and diverted the million into her private purse.
In a bid to justify her fraudulent action, she used the arrears meant for the staffers to buy CT scan at an inflated rate and without due process. This singular action brought about serious issues between her and the Chief Accountant who refused to take part in the illegal buying, by refusing to sign. This has angered her and we can report that she has decided to get the Chief Accountant sacked. Barring any last minute change, the position will be advertised in any National Daily. She has already redeployed the Accountant to head the store while her partner in crime was put there as the Head of Account pending when the advert for a replacement is done.
With the blood of looting flowing through her veins, we gathered that she pays herself overtime millions of Naira every month, without paying those who do same with her, such as her drivers and admin staffs. This payment is against the financial regulation guiding her office as they are already being paid from the National Treasury into her Consolidated Salary. While she milks the hospital dry, she gives a peanut of Ten Thousand Naira monthly to all Heads of Department to run their office.
Our checks revealed that she has locked out the hospital drivers from their offices for participating in the last JOHESU nationwide strike.
Turns hospital into cash cow.
Aware that her time is up to quit office, Mrs Angela has began to outsource sensitive departments to phony companies allegedly owned by her, her husband and cronies. The departments which rakes in money to the hospital such as plant unit, drivers and laundry services has all been outsourced to yet to be identified companies which sources claim are owned by her.
Citing a circular that originated from former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2004 which was never implemented in any hospital for over 11 years, she has suddenly found love in it to enrich her accounts.
Investigations revealed that this outsourcing is due to a memo from the Ministry that all Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) should henceforth be sent to the ministry account. In order to circumvent this payment, she has decided to outsource the departments that are lucrative who will pay her some percentage before the balance is paid into the Ministry account. In her wisdom, she claims to spend million in buying diesel, fuel and toiletries from the IGR. Her husband company according to a source is responsible for buying diesel and fuel for the hospital.
All appointment made last year was backdated in order to beat the IPPIS. With this, she was able to retire the money looted from personnel cost.
Clinical services not spared the outsourcing
This reporter can authoritatively state that plans have already been concluded by her to outsource the department of Pharmacy, Medical Laboratory and Radiography.
In the minutes of the last meeting held last week which was attended by Top Management Committee (TMC), she fell out with the TMC members who kicked against the outsourcing. From the minutes, we gathered that only the Head of Nursing service, who is her ally, supported the outsourcing. A multi million amenity complex built in the hospital has already been outsourced to a retired Nurse, who is her friend, with a silent agreement of financial gains.
The Laboratory will be outsourced to Darlex Lab Ltd owned by a former Senator, Eze Ajoku.
The pharmacy unit has already being outsourced partially as staffs under the NHIS can no longer get drugs at cheaper rate from the NHIS pharmacy store. Her own constituency of Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) is at daggers drawn with her over her corrupt practice and dictatorial style. Workers are no longer entitled to call food despite staying overnight to care for patients. Information gotten is that she promised to set up a committee to look into it which has not been done.
Boasts of her survival power.
While she engages in this brazen daylight robbery, she beats her chest that she cannot be removed, squealed sources. With Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu as her godfather and Senator Emeka Ihedioha solidly behind her, she boasts that nobody can remove her. Since Duno Lulu Briggs left as the Chairman of the Hospital Board, she uses other board members who she remotes control to have her way in looting FMC to coma.
Calls placed to her were not answers neither SMS replied.
*** To be continued.