The management of Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH), located in Ile-Ife, Osun State, has announced that it will reimburse employees who were let off last Wednesday for the money they spent on medical testing.
On Thursday, a few newly hired employees of the teaching hospital staged a protest in response to OAUTH’s decision to fire them, claiming that the previous hospital management had illegally recruited them.
The demonstrators, who held signs with different messages on them, called their situation unfair and asked to be paid for the roughly 14 months they had worked there prior to being let off.
However, the hospital’s management fired over 2,000 employees in a document dated January 31 and signed by O. O. Omonije, the acting director of administration, for allegedly engaging in job racketeering that occurred in the hospital in June 2022.
The memo further stated that prior to the scandal, only 450 personnel had been approved for recruitment by the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation.
It stated that workers in 21 different fields would be included in the new hires in accordance with the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation’s clearance, and it further stated that individuals hired without this permission would have to cease representing themselves as hospital employees.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday regarding the controversy surrounding the decision to lay off employees, the hospital’s Chief Medical Director, John Okeniyi, demanded that those who were asked to cease presenting themselves as staff members who had been unlawfully hired by the previous administration.
According to Okeniyi, the decision to reimburse impacted staff members for their medical expenses was made in an effort to be equitable to the racketeering victims.
“It is sad that the illegality of the 2022 recruitments and job racketeering perpetrated by a few staff has severally tainted the public image of our highly industrious and patriotic staff, our vibrant hospital, the federal ministry, and the federal government.
“It is however noteworthy that the illegality has been repeatedly brought to the sufficient notice of the public and the victims, many of whom wilfully engaged in the criminality just to secure themselves jobs.
“Even after the suspension of officers involved and the sufficient notice granted by the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, many have persistently insisted that they are legitimate staff and this narrative is categorically false,” he said.