Illegal Recruitment: OAUTH admits culpability, offers sacked workers refund of screening expenses

As the protest by sacked Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH) workers entered day two on Friday, the management of the institution has admitted culpability in their sham recruitment.
In a statement by the management, which was posted by the hospital’s Public Relations Officer, Kemi Fasoto, on its website, it explained how the immediate past top echelon of the institution illegally recruited workers and created a crisis.
It revealed that some of the senior officers of the hospital, who were suspended for the illegal act, even slept with some female workers in exchange for employment.
The sacked workers began picketing the hospital premises on Thursday. They shut the main gates and disrupted activities at the hospital.

Some of the protesters, reportedly, refused to vacate the protest ground on Thursday night. They threatened to demonstrate indefinitely until the management reversed their sack and paid their arrears.
On its part, the management has promised to pay the pre-employment medical screening expenses of the affected employees. It disclosed that it would not re-engage them.
“The erstwhile Acting Chief Medical Director, erstwhile Acting Director of Administration and erstwhile Head of Establishment were all found to be culpable and complicit in the manipulation of the recruitment process, through deliberate subversion of extant rules and regulations and non-adherence to administrative procedures in the conduct of government business.
“The trio were subsequently suspended by the FMoH&SW over their involvement in the illegal recruitment and job racketeering in the implementation of the 2022 approved waiver from the OHCSF,” the statement read in part.
The management stressed that the deliberate wrongdoing was committed by the trio with flagrant disregard for extant rules and regulations guiding recruitment into public service and a lack of respect for constituted authority and norms.
“Consequent upon their suspension, the Permanent Secretary, FMoH&SW directed the Management of the Hospital to convene a Senior Staff Disciplinary Committee to deal with and dispose of all cases of illegal recruitment and job racketeering involving the erstwhile Acting Chief Medical Director, Acting Director of Administration, and the Head of Establishment Department.

“The FMoH&SW and the OHCSF were duly represented on the Senior Staff Disciplinary Committee that visited the Hospital Complex for the crucial assignments between Monday, 8 and Friday, 12 January 2024,” the statement stated.
The hospital management noted that it was not insensitive to the protest and unrest occasioned by the mandate to implement the 2022 approved waiver, in line with the recommendations and approval of the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (FMoH&SW).
However, it urged the affected persons to face reality, explaining that it could not offer non-existent job positions.

ALSO READ: Sacked OAUTH employees shut down hospital in protest

To demonstrate fairness to all the victims, and the public, the management expressed its willingness to offer refunds to those who may have inadvertently paid money to procure screening tests after they were given letters of employment.
“The OAUTH management shall refund all such verifiable receipted claims of ‘pre-employment’ medical screening expenses. All members of staff, visitors, patients, clients, and members of the public are advised to maintain decorum and civility as they transact their activities lawfully, within and around the Hospital.

“The Management is poised to maintain peace and security in the Hospital. The assistance of all people of influence and law-enforcement agents remains helpful in calming the inflamed situation and we seek all concerned to exercise restraint,” the statement added.
In a reaction, the spokesperson of the sacked workers, Samson Falope, said the strike would continue until all their demands were met. He declared that they would not accept the hospital management’s offer of refunding their pre-employment medical screening expenses.

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