In a decisive move, the Edo State Branch of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has suspended three of its key officials, namely Dr. Udoka Imoisili, Dr. Okwara Benson, and Dr. Collins Otoikhila, who held the positions of Chairman, Deputy Chairman, and Secretary, respectively.
The suspension came following a resolution reached during the Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference (AGM/SC) held at the Doctors House in Benin City on Thursday, August 17, 2023.
A communique issued at the conclusion of the meeting accused the suspended officials of high-handedness and failing to fulfill their constitutional responsibilities as required by the AGM.
The Deputy Secretary, Dr. Iluobe Inegbenosun, now serving as Acting Chairman, co-signed the communique along with Dr. Emeka Okoh, the Public Relations Officer.
According to the communique, a secret ballot was conducted, with 120 members voting in favor of the suspension of the three principal officers, while 3 voted against and 3 abstained.
The meeting proceeded with an adjusted agenda, yielding several resolutions:
Dr. Iluobe Inegbenosun, the Deputy Secretary, was designated as the Acting Chairman of the NMA Edo State, effective immediately, in accordance with the Edo NMA Rules and Regulations. The suspended officers were instructed to transfer all association assets within 48 hours to the Acting Chairman.
Due to irregularities in the formation of committees during an allegedly fraudulent State Executive Council (SEC) meeting, the AGM decided to dissolve all committees.
The financial report, prepared primarily by the suspended Chairman, exhibited inconsistencies and lacked transparency in its expenditure of N54,847,067.48 over a year, without substantial projects or auditing. The financial report was consequently put on hold.
Expressing dissatisfaction with the suspended Chairman’s failure to support the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) during the NARD industrial action, the AGM committed to better solidarity with members, including the ARD.
While some members chose to remain anonymous, they voiced discontentment with the suspended Chairman’s autocratic behavior, accusing her of disregarding the Edo NMA Rules and Regulations.
In response to their suspension, Dr. Udoka Imoisili and Dr. Collins Otoikhila issued a statement titled “Impersonation of the Office of Chairman and Secretary of Edo NMA,” alleging that some members and officials were acting with a preconceived agenda to create chaos within the Association.
The statement highlighted their concern about individuals wrongly presenting themselves as Acting Chairman and Acting Secretary.
As the NMA navigates this period of internal conflict, the state government, Nigerian police, DSS, bankers of the Edo NMA, and the general public are urged to withhold dealings with the suspended officers until clearance by the State Disciplinary Committee.
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