Fear grips LUTH as Presidency probes appointment of CMD - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Friday, November 10, 2023

Fear grips LUTH as Presidency probes appointment of CMD

Anxiety has gripped the management of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Idi Araba, following the decision by the Presidency to probe the emergence of Prof. Wasiu Lanre Adeyemo as the Chief Medical Director of the hospital. 

The decision followed a rash of protests and petitions against the appointment, which was allegedly done without proper authorisation.

Recall that the selection process of who to succeed erstwhile LUTH CMD, Prof Chris Bode, whose tenure ended on March 24, 2023, remained inconclusive till the exit of former President Muhammadu Buhari on May 29, this year.

Curiously however, some highly connected officials of the Federal Ministry of Health were alleged to have hurriedly despatched a letter appointing Prof Adeyemo as substantive CMD, acting on a purported Presidential approval signed on Sunday May 28, 2023 at a time Buhari had already performed official hand over to President Bola Tinubu two days earlier on Friday 26th May.

What remained more baffling to The Presidency was that out of the six Federal Teaching Hospitals in Nigeria which had interview processes for CMDs conducted same day and remained inconclusive, only LUTH was hurriedly finalized by the concerned top echelon of the Health Ministry, taking advantage of the transition of government. 

Miffed by the development, President Tinubu through his Chief of Staff, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, directed a full probe to establish the culpability of officials of the Federal Ministry of Health and former key Presidency top shots connected with the development.

A memo dated 17th October, 2023 referenced: 58787/S.1/C.1/300, which emanated from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, demanded a written report from the Coordinating Minister of Health, Prof Ali Pate, on what transpired throughout the interview selection process. 

In the said letter signed on the SGF's behalf by the Permanent Secretary, Dr Nnamdi Maurice Mbieri, the SGF directed that the Health Minister should be prompt in his response to "enable government take further necessary action on the matter".

Upon receipt of the memo, the Health Minister directed the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Daju Kachollom to explain why the Ministry hurriedly issued letter of appointment to the LUTH CMD in substantive capacity when the relevant due-diligence agencies of government especially the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) had not yet given final clearance on the process. 

It was gathered that the PS, Dr Kachollom  said that none of the present actors in the Ministry was in office when the alleged infractions leading to the LUTH leadership tussle took place.
A source in the Health Ministry promised that justice would be done and that laid down administrative procedures would be followed. 

With the development, a new selection process could be in the offing with Adeyemo and Prof. Femi Fasanmade, a former Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC), slugging it out. 

Through various petitions addressed to The Presidency and the Health Ministry, Prof Fasanmade had stridently challenged the emergence of Prof Adeyemo, first as the Ag. CMD since he, Fasanmade, was the most senior as CMAC, while Adeyemo also served as his Deputy.

The main plank of his argument is that the foundational error committed by the now dissolved Governing Board of LUTH, led by Alhaji Sali Bello, whose four-year tenure already expired more than six months when it still went ahead to appoint Prof Adeyemo as Ag. CMD and despite the fact that he was not the most Senior Consultant in LUTH.

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