Doctors vow to jail suspended Enugu Psychiatric Hospital MD, Onwukwe


Residents doctors at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Enugu have vowed to jail the Medical Director of the Hospital, Dr. Jojo Onwukwe.

This is coming amidst reports that Onwukwe has been suspended from office by the Federal Government.

However, the doctors, who are in jubilant mood over the reported suspension of the MD, said they would send him to jail for withholding their December salary.

The doctors contended that Onwukwe’s alleged action was in total disregard to a subsisting order of the National Industrial Court Enugu.

Akelicious reports that the doctors had dragged the said Medical Director to court over his step to terminate the residency training programme of some them.

The Doctors had through their lawyer, Ike Maximus Ugwuoke filed a suit, seeking a grant of interlocutory injunction against the Medical Director over his said steps, which were at variance with their template of employment and conditions of their training.

On 28th May 2018 when the suit came up for hearing, Justice E.I Essien of the National Industrial Court Enugu had ordered the Medical Director to maintain the status quo after the lawyer to the ministry of Health, LLB Iboroma made an undertaking to ensure that nothing happened to the resident doctors pending the determination of the suit.

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The Order of the honourable court was served on the medical director complied until December 2018 when he withheld their salary.

The President of the Hospital ARD, Dr Charles Udeagha revealed that all efforts the leadership of the Association has made to reach the MD and find out why her members did not receive their December Salaries was futile.

“He told us by proxy that the Court Order would not be honoured and that the court would do nothing.

“The Association had no option than to convey their message to the hospital and the representative of the federal ministry of health by carrying of placards in a peaceful demonstration in the hospital.

“The said MD walked out on the Resident Doctors when they visited him over their withheld salary on the pretext that he didn’t have the time of the doctors,” he said.

He wondered whom the MD would have time for if he didn’t have the time for his workers.

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He stated that the action of the MD in withholding the salary of his members during the yuletide in spite of the fact that they worked for it, plunged the doctors and their dependants into untold suffering and financial handicap during the season.

He called on the ministry and the presidency to forestall recurrence of such ugly incident by ensuring that Court Orders were obeyed and that the rule of law was upheld.

Other members of staff of the said hospital also recounted their ordeals under the said MD.

When Contacted Mr Ugwuoke, the lawyer to the resident doctors, who confirmed alleged violation of the court order by the MD, revealed that he filed the main suit in 2017 on the instruction of the the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigerian (NARD).

He said that while the issue was still pending at the Court, the MD took steps to terminate the residency training programme of some of the members of the association in the hospital and to stop their salaries, which necessitated his filing of the application that gave rise to the interim Order made by the Court against the said MD.

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Mr Ugwuoke further confirmed that the Doctors had detailed him to commence a contempt proceeding against the said MD for withholding their December salaries and that pursuant to their instruction, contempt proceeding has been initiated against the MD through the filing of Form 48.

It was gathered that following the suspension of the MD, the former head of the Clinical services (HCS) Dr Iteke Obiora has taken over as the acting MD of the hospital following his appointment into the office on 10th Jan 2019.

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