Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
A mild drama played out wednesday at the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Uselu, Benin City, when 10 staff of the hospital who were on suspension and dismissal since 2014 stormed the hospital armed with a letter reinstating them from the presidency.
The affected workers arrived the premises of the hospital at about 9; 20 am and went into the premises where they held consultation among themselves, before going into the office of the Secretary of Head of Department where they were told that management of the hospital was not aware of such letter.
Spokesman of the 10, Dr. Ambrose Lawani, said they decided to go and resume after waiting for over one month since the directive was given.
This however generated fisticuffs as a private cameraman who was there to record the event was prevented from doing so and in the melee, one of the affected staff, Dr. Charles Ikeji, sustained some injuries.
The presidency sometime in November last year, directed that 10 staff who were either dismissed or suspended should be recalled to the service of the hospital.
The letter which was dated November 24th 2017, with reference number LA/80/15/T1/62 and addressed to the Medical Director, Dr. Sunday Olotu, of the hospital was signed by Director, Human Resource Management, Halad Keana for the Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Health.
The letter titled, Re: Plea for our immediate reinstatement reads; “I am directed to refer to the letter from the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Vice President, Ref No SH/OVP/DCOS/LGR&C/FMOH/208 dated 28th August, 2017 on the above subject and to convey the Ministry’s approval to the immediate reinstatement of Dr. A.O.Lawan and 10 others, who were suspended/dismissed from the services of the hospital on 11th November 2014.
“You are also directed to restore the following benefits: The prompt payment of their outstanding 2013 promotion arrears, arrears of relativity and their withheld salaries up to date by virtue of Public Service Rules (PSR) 030404 (iv) which states that if confirmed than an officer is not guilty of the charge made against him/her, the affected officer shall immediately be reinstated and shall receive the full amount of his/her emoluments denied him/her while he/she was interdicted or suspended.
When contacted however, the Public Relations Officer of the hospital, Efe Stewart, said the hospital was not aware of any such letter.
He said: “Their claim is unfounded because they are people that have criminal cases in court. One of them was very recently arraigned for fraud. For embezzling money belonging to the Psychiatric Hospital Cooperative. A child that has been put to birth, can you abort it? As I speak with you, I am not aware of any letter, if the ministry directed that they should be reinstated, then who is Psychiatric hospital to say no, so they should go back and complain to the same ministry and not coming to enter the hospital to foment trouble.”