Doctor accuses NMA of shielding corrupt former officer

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A former executive member of Edo State branch of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Moses Ujaddughe, has accused the national body of the association of shielding one of its members accused of embezzling the association’s fund.

Ujaddughe who is also the Coordinator, Edo Central Zone of the NMA, also accused the national NMA of wrongly suspending him and the immediate past chairman of the association, Prof. Ernest Omoti, in payment for the selfless and transparent service they rendered while in office.

He also alleged that a past chairman of the association in the state, Dr. Emmanuel Ighodaro, was found guilty of several offences by the disciplinary committee of the association, including an alleged illegal withdrawal and embezzlement of N6 million which he took as an unauthorized loan from a new generation bank (name withheld) and withdrew from Edo NMA’s account after his tenure.

According to Ujaddughe, the said loan was credited to the association’s account on July 31, 2014, the same day his executive committee was dissolved, adding that “between August 1, 2014 and August 5, 2014 after his tenure, he withdrew over N6 million from the Association’s account before handing over the account.”

He also alleged that the past chairman abused his office by committing fraudulent acts for which he was indicted of by the disciplinary committee of the Association.

He mentioned the fraudulent acts to include the conversion of the association’s property for his personal use; complete absence of documentation and original receipts of expenditure throughout his tenure as chairman and embezzlement of funds generated from AGMs; Continuing Medical Education (CME) programs and from funds paid by people to use the hall in the Doctors’ House.

“The total loss of the association cannot be fully estimated because Dr. Ighodaro presumably took away all the duplicate copies of the receipts used in his time and kept absolutely no documentation of his expenditure throughout his tenure, making it impossible to verify any of his claims,” Ujaddughe alledged.

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Ujaddughe who expressed dismay at his suspension, saying it is so shameful that an association as the NMA will be aiding persons who have been indicted for misappropriation and embezzlement of funds belonging to it.

“It is so shameful that an association of this kind will be giving protection to people who have misappropriated and embezzled funds belonging to the association, and association will be playing politics more than principles, it is unfortunate.

“As a statutory Vice Chairman of Edo State NMA, my executive under the chairmanship of Prof. Ernest Omoti, uncovered financial misappropriation amounting to about N163 million allegedly committed by the immediate past State Chairman, Dr. Ighodaro Emmanuel and his team.

“On the recommendation of the state branch of the association, I wrote to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for investigation. Unfortunately, this year, the leadership at the national level changed and today we have a national leadership that is in bed romancing with corruption and corrupt tendencies.

“My only crime is that I blew the whistle to expose corruption. I guess you now also understand why Prof. Omoti has been joined in the suspension spree, simply because he is perceived to be the one who created the enabling environment for the corrupt activities to be uncovered,” Ujaddughe said.

However, Dr. Emmanuel Ighodaro, in his reaction, dismissed the allegations as the handiwork of his arch-enemies and rivals who are bent on denting his image which he has built over the years as a past chairman of the state branch of the NMA.