A case in point is that of a Dental Technician, Mr Ogbu, Chienyem Jokine, who was recently forced to retire from service by the management of the centre. According to a query dated June 26, 2018, Mr Ogbu J.C, was accused by the HOD/CDS, Dental Department of FMC Owerri of abandoning his duty post, from June 21 to June 25, 2018. He was asked to explain within 24 hours, why disciplinary action should not be taken against him.
On July 11, 2018, another query titled, “query for complaint of extortion of money”. While he was bracing up to answer the query on extortion, a letter of suspension was issued to Ogbu J.C, accusing him of extorting money from a certain patient named Ukwuoma Jason, on 20th of June, 2018.
Instead of the previously stated absence from duty (AWOL), the management unilaterally suspended him from work claiming that he was unable to exonerate himself from allegations of staying away from work.
While clamping down a three (3) months suspension on him, the management explained that their action, “is in public interest and to allow for further investigation of the matter”.
However, Jokine Chienyem Ogbu, while explaining his role in the extortion scandal, mentioned one Dr (Mrs) Anizoba, a dental surgeon, as the person who investigated the health issue presented by Ukwuoma Jason at the end of which “she bargained the cost of root canal treatment and charged the patient N20,000”. After collecting the unreceipted cash payment, Dr (Mrs) Anizoba gave Mr Jokine Ogbu, one thousand, two hundred naira (N1,200) only. This amount,according to Mr Jokine Ogbu was for dental anesthesia drug for the patient which was to be procured from the pharmacy.
When Mr Ogbu discovered that Dr (Mrs) Anizoba had converted the balance of the money which she left on top of her office table in the clinic, he insisted that a receipt be issued to the patient for documentation and record purposes believing that the dental surgeon would kindly direct accordingly.
He was shocked to learn that Dr (Mrs) Anizoba had instead appropriated all that money to herself. Series of drama ensued thereafter, when the patient, hospital Public Relations Officer (PRO) and Police Officers on the same day forced themselves into the office of the Dental Surgeon and retrieved the cash which was still on her table while she went to watch football at the hospital reception.
The twist in matter was the arrest and detention of Mr Ogbu for several days while Dr (Mrs) Anizoba, who was arrested with him was let off the hook same day. After three days in police custody, he was released on bail after he was forced to pay N50,000, “when bail is free”, and was subsequently, charged to court. It was upon his release that a query for abscondment was issued to him.
While still wondering what could have befallen him, he was suspended from work and later recalled by the board and finally issued a letter of retirement. His senior colleague, Dr (Mrs) Anizoba, was exonerated from the matter.
Effort to reach the CMD for comment was rebuffed as his secretary refused our reporter access to him for comment.