The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) said it is investigating the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) Teaching Hospital over the alleged misappropriation of N950 million COVID intervention fund.
The development was announced in a statement by the ICPC.
The anti-graft agency said the alleged offence is a violation of the provisions of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.
“An immediate investigation by the Commission into the utilisation of the N950 million intervention fund by the teaching hospital in Port Harcourt has therefore been initiated.
“The commission has obtained documents from the federal ministry of health, federal ministry of finance, budget and national planning, and the University of Port Harcourt teaching hospital that would assist in its investigation of the utilisation of the COVID-19 Intervention Fund by the health institutions”, the statement reads.
The federal government had reportedly earmarked the sum of N950 million each for 52 federal teaching hospitals and medical centres.
The sums approved are said to be for the building and furnishing of molecular laboratories, isolation centres, 10-bed intensive care units (ICUs) and procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Meanwhile, the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, UPTH, has denied the misuse of the 950 million naira COVID 19 Fund given to them by the Federal Government.
The Chief Medical Director of UPTH, Professor Henry Ugboma, debunked this in a statement made available to our correspondent.
Professor Ugboma said the fund was for 4 categories of initiatives, explained the Covid 19 fund was utilized in the hospital, adding that they are not worried about the auditing.
Recall that the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba when he came in an unscheduled visit to the hospital at the weekend expressed disappointment at the state of the Isolation Centre.
Agba added that fund released to the hospital was misused and threatened to invite relevant government agencies to thoroughly investigate the hospital.
In another related development, the Facility Manager, UPTH COVID-19 Isolation Centre, Doctor Omosivie Maduka told our correspondent that UPTH had been working on COVID 19 cases since February 2020.
Doctor Maduka said the hospital had successfully admitted 301 patients out which 239 have been discharged with about 20 per cent mortality rate.
Maduka explained that the Minister visited when the isolation centre was undergoing decontamination in preparation for the new Omicron 19 variant.
Meanwhile, the ICPC has launched a probe of the UPTH and 15 other hospitals over the use of the 49.5 billion naira COVID fund.