Chief Medical Director of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Professor Chris Bode has refuted allegations of financial recklessness levelled against him. He also said his bank account had not been frozen, contrary to a media report.
Professor Bode in a statement released Saturday afternoon and made available to The Shield Online said:
- Prof Bode*
“I was woken up this morning by several calls from all over the country and from concerned associates and well-wishers in the US, Canada, UK, Israel, among others, who were all concerned and disturbed by the publication in the Punch newspaper today, Saturday August 8, 2020, alleging my involvement in financial recklessness as the Chief Medical Director of Lagos University Teaching Hospital.
“In December 2019, a group under a fictitious name wrote a puerile petition to the LUTH Management Board, targeting the LUTH CMD. It alleged all sorts of falsities which were considered and dismissed after due investigation at a Board meeting in February 2020. The same set of allegations was sent round to various public institutions when it gained no traction.
“I therefore deem it absolutely necessary to swiftly repudiate the allegations published against me to protect my family name and honor. Let me state outright that I have not been involved in any financial malpractice and I have not betrayed the confidence and public trust reposed in me by virtue of my position.
“My Office received a letter by the ICPC informing us they were investigating some allegations of violations of codes of conduct and LUTH was asked to submit some documents which we have since submitted. LUTH was not given a copy of these allegations, although we requested for it. I have not been invited by this organisation neither have I been asked to respond to any of their findings.
“My Bank Accounts have not been frozen, contrary to lies published by the Punch newspaper.
“Suspension from approving LUTH TSA
“The Federal Government withdrew all MDs CEOs from operating on the TSA REMITA Platform. While they approve all financial payments, MDs/CEOs are no longer a part of the online platform. This function has been reserved for only Accounts personnel. This does not only apply to LUTH but all Federal institutions nationwide. However, the mischief makers chose to interpret that as only targeting LUTH CMD. This is verifiable.
“Systemic Audit of Federal Parastatals & MDAs
“The ICPC conducted a systemic audit of all parastatals nationwide last year. Stakeholders were briefed on identified lapses to correct and realign their operations. This was not a probe but a very useful opportunity to improve and correct accounting systems, especially regarding personnel payments. Since January, they have been monitoring the institutions. In June 2020, ICPC invited about 40 institutions to throw more light on the implementation of their earlier recommendations. LUTH was part of these establishments and we have responded.
“Public Private Partnerships in LUTH
“The present LUTH Administration has attracted and implemented many laudable far-reaching projects in the past 5 years almost to the tune of N10 billion from the private sector. Such significant projects such as the NSIA-LUTH Cancer Centre, the new Radiology Centre, the Blood Bank, various building donations were implemented through visionary leadership and scrupulous transparency that boosted investor and donor confidence in the Hospital. The Independent Power Plant which makes LUTH the only Federal Tertiary Hospital with its own uninterrupted power supply nationwide was implemented under my stewardship.
“Each of these landmark projects was with the approval of relevant agencies and with the approval of the LUTH Board.
“I have never diverted any funds.
“It is therefore a shocker to see a slew of sordid things published by a newspaper without any attempt to ask for my views. Beyond the fact of the ICPC asking for some documents, all other things published by the Punch newspaper were deliberately malicious, calculated to bring my name into disrepute.
“I have patiently ignored many such distractions till date in our quest to bring deeper, meaningful changes to a public institution which brought us up. While such spurious and fake news is part of what any leader must contend with, this one is a distasteful exception that goes into the realm of the absurd.
“I have therefore briefed my lawyers to seek appropriate redress for this wilful and false defamation against my person.”