Crisis rocks Edo NMA over alleged fraud, suspension
Crisis is looming in the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Edo State branch over alleged misappropriation and embezzlement of funds by a former state chairman and the subsequent suspension of its principal members which has caused acrimony and tension in the body.
A statement signed by Dr. Ujaddughe Moses, a member of the association and coordinator, Edo Central Zone of the NMA, alleged that a past chairman of the association, Dr. Emmanuel Ighodaro, who is being investigated by the NMA disciplinary committee was found guilty of several offences including illegal withdrawal and embezzlement of N6, 000,000 (six million naira) taken as an unauthorized loan from a new generation bank (name withheld) and withdrawn from the body’s account after his tenure.
Ujaddughe claimed that the loan was credited to the association’s account on July 31, 2014, the same day his executive committee was dissolved. “Between August 1, 2014 and August 5, 2014 after his tenure, he withdrew over N6, 000,000 (six million naira) from the association’s account before handing over the account,” he stressed.
He also alleged that the past chairman had abused the office by conversion of the association’s property for his personal use, complete absence of documentation and original receipts of expenditure throughout his tenure as Chairman and embezzlement of fund generated from AGMs, Continuing Medical Education (CME) programs and from funds paid by people to use the hall in the doctors’ house. “The total loss of the Association cannot be fully estimated because Dr. Ighodaro presumably took away all the duplicate copies of the receipts used in his time and kept absolutely no documentation of his expenditure throughout his tenure making it impossible to verify any of his claims.” Ujaddughe alledged.
Ujaddughe who expressed dismay at his suspension and others said it is so shameful that an association as the NMA was allegedly aiding persons who have been indicted.
He added, “As a statutory vice chairman of Edo state NMA, my executive under the chairmanship of Prof. Ernest Omoti uncovered financial misappropriation amounting to about 163, 000,000,00 (one hundred and sixty three million naira).
“On the recommendation of the state branch of the association, I wrote to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for investigation. Unfortunately, this year, the leadership at the national level changed and today we have a national leadership that is in bed romancing with corruption. My only crime is that I blew the whistle to expose corruption. I guess you now also understand why Prof. Omoti has been joined in the suspension spree. Simply because he is perceived to be the one who created the enabling environment for the corrupt activities to be uncovered.”
But Ighodaro dismissed the allegations, saying that they were handiwork of his enemies and rivals who are bent on denting his image which he has built over the years as a past Chairman of the State Branch of the NMA.
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