Health and Safety Politics

NEMA director docked over alleged misappropriation of N54.3m

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Written by Maritime First

…As JOHESU disagrees with Gov’t on planned privatisation of public health institutions***

A director in the National Emergence Management Agency (NEMA), Emenike Umesi was on Wednesday docked at an FCT High Court, Maitama over an alleged misappropriation of N54.3 million.

Umesi who was dragged before Justice Jude Okeke by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over a four-count charge bordering on misappropriation of public funds, pleaded “Not guilty”, and was  granted bail in the sum of N50 million and a surety in like sum.

Okeke said the surety must be a resident of the FCT and must own a landed property in Abuja.

Okeke ordered that the surety should deposit his street address and land title documents to the court and shall in addition show evidence of tax payment over the last three years.

He said he granted bail to the defendant because the prosecution had not objected to the bail application neither had the defendant defaulted in the administrative bail granted him by the EFCC.

He subsequently adjourned the case until April 15 for commencement of trial.

Earlier, the EFCC had alleged that on Dec. 30, 2014, Umesi serving as the Acting Director, Special Duty in NEMA allegedly misappropriated N12.8 million meant for the Agency ‘s operations.

EFFC’s Prosecuting counsel, Mrs Deborah Ademu-Etteh, said the offence contravened Section 19 of Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act.

Ademu-Etteh alleged that the defendant, serving as deputy director in charge of the South South Zone of NEMA on February 29, 2012, converted the sum of N7 .5 million meant for the Agency ‘s operations to his personal use.

The EFCC also accused Umesi of converting N17.9 million and N16.1 million in March, 2012 and Oct. 14, 2013 respectively to his personal use.

The EFCC informed the court that the offences contravened Section 315 of the Penal Code.

Meanwhile, the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) has rejected plans by the Federal Government to privatise public health institutions.

Mr Joy Bioblemoye, JOHESU National Chairman said this during a mass rally on Wednesday in Abuja.

According to him, we reject moves by the Federal Government to privatise the health sector.

“Government should address the challenges that are confronting the sectors which are corruption and lack of fair management in the system rather than thinking of privatisation,’’ he said.

The members of the union are on a three-day rally over their plights.

They are always protesting the alleged withholding of workers’ salaries for the months of April and May 2018 by the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewale.

The chairman said his members would not hesitate to shut down the sector, should government failed to address their plights after the rally.

Bioblemoye, however, called on President Buhari to intervene in the matter, saying that over 90 per cent of chief medical directors of public institutions have their private hospitals.

He noted that such practice had led to the rots in the system due to clash of interests.

Earlier, he said the mass rally was to sensitise Nigerian public and government about the development.

“We are here today to sensitise the general public of the happenings in the health sector. We want to call on the Minister of Health Prof. Adewale to respect court order and release our salaries for the months of April and May, 2018.

“While the court asked both parties not to do anything that could jeopardise the peace process, the minister still went ahead to implement no work no pay policy,” he said.

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Maritime First