Some aggrieved workers of Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Barnawa, Kaduna State have accused the managing director of the facility, Prof A. J. Yusuf of contract inflation, abuse of office, stealing, embezzlement and misappropriation of funds.
The workers decried the hospital’s fall from grace to grass, saying it should be blamed on alleged incompetence and negligence of Yusuf.
In a petition to the Board of Management of the hospital, they claimed the managing director stole funds meant to purchase medical equipment worth millions of naira.
The said in the petition, “In line with the above, I want to draw your attention to a fraudulent procurement process perpetrated by the Medical Director of Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Barnawa, Kaduna (Prof A.J Yusuf) in 2019 in the month of March 2019, three (3) quotations were received for the procurement of one (1) AC9000 Electrolyte Analyzer (Audicom) from the following companies: Echas Scientific Nig. Ltd, the company quoted two million, six hundred and fifty thousand naira (N2,650,000.00) only; X axaka Ltd, they quoted two million, four hundred and fifty thousand naira (2,450,000.00) only; Bijo Surgical & Scientific Company Ltd, one million, eight hundred thousand naira (1,800,000.00) only.
“On 12th April 2019, the Procurement Unit of the hospital raised a memo and recommended for the procurement of the said electrolyte analyzer from Bijo Scientific & Surgical Nig Ltd being the lowest responsive bidder. The memo was however minuted to the Audit unit of the hospital for vetting. The Audit Unit carried out a market survey and sent the file back to the procurement Unit on 15th April, 2019.
“The file was subsequently minuted to the Medical Director for further action. No action was taken. On the 16th of April 2019, the Head of Medical Laboratory Department sent a memo to the Medical Director indicating that he negotiated with Echas Scientific Nig Ltd and the company has further reduced the amount quoted to two million, three hundred and eighty-five thousand naira (2,385,000.00) only.
“The Medical Director quickly gave approval for the purchase of Electrolyte Analyzer from the said Echas Scientific Nig Ltd procured the equipment from one of the bidders. There are also several others contracts that have been awarded to the said company (Echas Scientific Nig Ltd) without due process being followed and this is an offence in the PPA,2007, and if convicted it is punishable by law by dismissal from service and a minimum sentence of Five (5) years in jail with no option of fine (PPA, 2007 Section 58 subsection 5).
“Sometime in 2018, the Medical Director bought a Toyota Corolla saloon car. One Omotunde Jegede Durojaye, a staff member in the NHIS unit of the hospital helped in procuring the vehicle for the Medical Director, paid 30% of the total sum while the Managing Director, Echas Scientific Nig Ltd paid the balance of 70% of the total sum of the vehicle into the account of the supplier who is Jegede’s friend. This further proves why Echas Scientific Nig Ltd is favoured in all contracts awarded as it relates to laboratory equipment reagents, consumables and EEG equipment.
“Presently, there is a COVID 19 Capital Intervention Project going on the hospital and investigation shows that the three (3) construction contracts were awarded to friends and family of the Medical Director with two (2) projects awarded to one contractor. Four contracts are also awarded to Echas Scientific Nig Ltd in respect to the same project. Further investigation shows that over four hundred and fifty million (N450,000,000.00) only has been spent on the projects with little or nothing to show for that.”
“A committee of highly reputable Nigerians (who are not biased) cutting across all ethnic groups should be set up to carry out an independent investigation on the said project. For all payments for all projects, 1 % compulsory stamp duty payment for all contracts was not charged and none of the contractors has made this payment to Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS). This amounts to robbing the federation of over the sum of four million, five hundred thousand naira (N4,500,000.00) only.
“Section 36 of the Public Procurement Act, 2007, states that ‘contract performance guarantee shall be a precondition-for the award of any procurement contract upon which any mobilisation fee is to be paid provided however, it shall not be less than 10% of the contract value in any case or an amount equivalent to the mobilisation fee requested by the contractor or supplier, whichever is higher.’
“For all the contracts awarded for the COVID-19 Intervention Project, no contract performance guarantee was requested from the contractors by the Medical Director. He only requested for Bank Advance Payment Guarantee or Insurance Bond and these are entirely different from a Contract Performance Guarantee,” the petition also read.
The workers also accused Yusuf of embarking on massive recruitment of workers for the hospital without appropriate approval from the Nigerian government.
“Since assuming office, the Medical Director has illegally employed nineteen (19) senior staff members in locum without the approval of the federation. This is with the exception of numerous junior staff members that have been employed by him, most of whom belong to his tribe and religious sect. These individuals are placed on contract employment on a month-to-month basis,” it further said.
“Since interception as the Medical Director of the Hospital, Prof A. J. Yusuf has succeeded in dividing the entire staff of the hospital along ethnic and religious lines. This is evident in his reconstitution of all committees where his prerequisite of joining any committee in the hospital is tribe and religion,” it said.
“The Medical Director keeps harassing southerners asking them why they are not working in their respective states. He constantly reminds them that they have no stake in the North despite the fact that the institution is a federal institution and should reflect federal character. He only associates with staff members who are of his tribe and religion while he treats others as outcasts. This has made the atmosphere in the hospital very volatile and the hospital is sitting on an ethno-religious time bomb which can explode at any time if urgent action is not taken against him. It should be noted that nepotism is the highest form of corruption,” the workers alleged in the petition.