Awuni Akyireba: KATH employee who dragged CEO to CHRAJ dismissed

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The appointment of Mr. Awuni Akyireba, the employee of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) who petitioned the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate its CEO for misusing COVID-19 donations, has been dismissed, an official at KATH has confirmed.

In a letter widely shared online, the hospital’s Disciplinary Committee described contents of Mr. Akyireba’s submissions as false and his explanation of same to the media as a breach of hospital protocols, thus forming the basis for his sack.

According to the Disciplinary Committee, Mr. Awuni Akyireba peddled falsehood when he alleged that Management of KATH used Covid-19 donations to acquire luxury vehicles.

“Again, it is true that the official vehicle for the Medical Director was involved in an accident but Police report on the incident indicates the driver as Prof. Baafour Opoku, the Medical Director, not his wife as you alleged. This is a major offence under the hospital disciplinary code section 13: 02 xxiii (misconduct),” it added.

A Public Relations Officer at KATH Kwame Frimpong further explains that Mr. Akyireba’s dismissal is not predicated on the latest scandal that has hit the hospital although the facility was yet to be invited by CHRAJ to open its defense.

“And what must be noted that this is not the first disciplinary infraction committed by the staff concerned. He is somebody who has been given a lot of chances to amend his actions as far as the hospital is concerned… No institution worth its sort, will sit aloof when palpable falsehood is being propagated against it”, Mr. Frimpong said.

“As we speak there is no evidence that the donations that were made were used to purchase the vehicles concerned. We’ve been audited by both the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Audit Service and the evidence is clear that the funds were used for its intended purpose”, the KATH spokesperson further maintained.

Awuni fights back

The Hospital Board has thus directed the Director of Finance at KATH to strike out Mr. Akyireba’s name from the hospital’s payroll and ensure the payment of his Provident Fund Benefits with immediate effect.

However, in an interview with Awuni Akyireba, he revealed that the claim that he had evaded the Disciplinary Committee is rather unfounded.

According to him, at the said time, he was on an approved leave.

He has indicated that he is liaising with his lawyers to fight the decision in court.

Background

Awuni Akyireba, who was then a finance officer at the Biostatistical Unit at KATH in November of 2021 had accused CEO and Medical Director of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Oheneba Owusu-Danso, and Prof Baafour Kofi Opoku of abusing their public office.

According to Mr. Akyireba, the duo had procured two new Toyota Camry vehicles at the cost of $116,000, which were allegedly obtained with Covid-19 donations by a businessman and footballer.

He said the vehicles were bought at a time when the Hospital is in a dire economic situation.

He revealed that all of the Hospital’s escalators had broken down except those in the B block, and some staff bonuses had also not been paid.

“We were told in the performance review by the Chief Executive that all directorates of the hospital have incurred losses. Cumulative losses of these directorates according to him was in the region of GH¢6.2 million.

“If we were in such a difficulty, where else did they get the money to buy those vehicles if not the Covid-19 funds?” he said.

He is also asking CHRAJ to probe the Medical Director, Prof. Baafour Kofi Opoku, over abuse of public office for allowing his wife to drive and crash one of these new vehicles.

Speaking to Kumas-based Luv FM, Mr. Akyireba said he’s willing to support a CHRAJ investigation with evidence to prove these vehicles were bought with Covid-19 donations to the Hospital.

“I’m offering my head on the chopping block; they can chop my head for this. The Medical Director gave our official vehicle, one of the luxurious vehicles, to his wife and the wife got an accident with it. I feel that constitutes an abuse of public office, it also constitutes a betrayal of the trust of the public,” he said.

However, lawyers for the KATH CEO in a response to reports in some radio stations and newspapers said the allegations are untrue.

SOURCE: DAILY MAIL MONITORING

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