In a significant development, the federal government has taken decisive action by suspending Tajudeen Balogun, the Acting Director, Admin at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH), Ile-Ife, Osun State. This move comes in the wake of a job racketeering scandal that has cast a shadow over the institution.
The suspension was announced by Patricia Deworitshe, spokesperson for the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, in a statement released on Sunday in Abuja.
The statement revealed that the former chief medical director, Olumuyiwa Owojuyigbe, who was appointed in an acting capacity in March, has been absent from his duty post since July.
The unrest within the institution, as explained by Ms. Deworitshe, is rooted in an alleged job racketeering and over-employment saga initiated by Dr. Olumuyiwa.
The former CMD is accused of employing over 1,973 staff, a blatant violation of the 450 vacancies waiver granted in the 2022 employment by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.
According to the ministry spokesperson, an investigative panel was set up in August to delve into the matter.
The panel’s report revealed that Dr. Olumuyiwa was entangled in over-employment and job racketeering, employing a staggering number of workers without provision in the personnel budget.
Furthermore, the report highlighted that the 450 workers waiver granted to OAUTH was intended for the recruitment of clinical staff, but only 55 clinical staff were hired.
The remaining recruits were categorized as nonclinical staff, contributing to a skewed staff ratio contrary to the recommended 3:1 ratio of clinical to nonclinical staff.
Ms. Deworitshe emphasised that the panel’s findings exposed numerous recruits lacking the required academic and professional certificates, along with evidence of National Youth Service Corps certificates.
The government’s suspension of Tajudeen Balogun underscores its commitment to addressing the turmoil caused by the alleged irregularities in the recruitment process at OAUTH.
As the investigation continues, the fate of those implicated in the job racketeering saga remains uncertain, and the institution faces the task of restoring order and adhering to established rules and regulations.