BY ISAAC OLAMIKAN
A Benin-based group, the Vanguard Anticorruption Watch, has called for the urgent investigation of the lists of nominees to the boards of Federal Teaching Hospitals and Medical Centres by the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).
The group alleged that multiple lists were submitted by the National executive of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), for the ongoing process at the Federal Ministry of Health.
The group in a statement issued and signed by its Secretary, Barr. Valentine Osayuki, and made available to journalists, alleged that one of the nominees, Dr Gabriel Ogbebor and four others are currently being prosecuted for corruption charges by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission at a Benin City High Court.
It wondered why a government that prides itself for its zero tolerance for corruption, will accept a person undergoing corruption prosecution for appointment into a Federal Medical Board.
“It is common knowledge that one Dr. Gabriel Ogbebor, along with Dr Emmanuel Ighodaro, Dr Quincy Atohengbe, Dr Anthony Owolabi and Dr Raymond Ogieva who work and live in Edo state are currently facing criminal prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in a Benin City High Court.
“We are however surprised that the same doctor (Gabriel Ogbebor) has been listed for appointment to a Federal board to represent the Nigerian Medical Association.
“One wonders if the NMA has lost its sense of morality and modesty in spite of the huge confidence reposed on them by the public. It is the last expectation to have such a character nominated to a board of that repute.”
“One is left to wonder if the same Federal Government under the incorruptible Muhammadu Buhari will in one breadth (through her agency) indict someone for corruption and in another breadth, appoint the same person to undertake such a sensitive responsibility? The paradox is simply irreconcilable,” the statement said.
The Vanguard Anticorruption Watch therefore called on President Mohamadu Buhari, the Minister of Health and all those concerned, to urgently investigate the names on the list to avoid giving the impression that the government is rewarding corruption.
The boards will be inaugurated on Tuesday 6th of March, 2018 and investigation revealed that Dr Gabriel Ogbebor has been cleared to take up the board appointment despite the EFCC case against him and four other executives of Edo NMA pending at the Edo State Criminal Court.