According to an audit report from the office of the Auditor General of the Federation revealed that the Federal Medical Centre Owerri, under the leadership of Dr. Angela Uwakwem, its former Medical Director, was unable to settle its a financial records from extra-budgetary expenditure.
Dr. Angela was alleged to have diverted public funds for personal use and under-remitted revenue generated internally from the centre despite the Financial Regulations designed within Ministries, Departments & Agencies (MDAs) in the country, specifically to monitor, regulate the movement of public funds and also to prevent financial recklessness.
When the Ministry of Health sent a memo directed that all internally generated revenue should be sent directly to the ministry account, Dr. Angela circumvented the system of payment by outsourcing the departments that are lucrative who will pay her certain agreed percentage.
She also claimed that the Medical Centre expended millions of naira on diesel, fuel and toiletries from the internally generated revenue. However, reports revealed that her husband’s company is responsible for buying diesel and fuel for the hospital.
To perfectly execute her hellish plans, appointments were backdated to beat Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS). With this ominous act, she was able to retire the money from personnel cost.
Findings revealed that the Medical Centre in 2015 and 2016 made an extra-budgetary spending of N542,877,312 on personnel cost rather than N12,761,350 appropriated meant for payment of salaries and wages to regular and non-regular staff of the Centre. This discovery violated Financial Regulations 401(i) which states that:
“All disbursement of public funds shall be made by the Accountant General on the authority of the appropriate warrant issued to him and also by Accounting Officers entrusted with the expenditure of public fund falling within the votes of charge of their ministries or extra-ministerial offices and other arms of government”.
Additionally, out of N1,306,073,623 generated from resolving fund, only N448,167,594 was reflected in TSA leaving an outstanding of N857,906,027. When she became aware that her tenure was coming to an end, she outsourced sensitive departments to phony companies allegedly owned by her, her husband and cronies.
To make matters worse, she boasts that she cannot be removed despite the ominous cloud of gross financial misappropriation hanging over her head.
Calls have grown intense from indigenes of Imo State to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the past Chief Medical Director which will serve as a deterrent to others.