The management of Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Idi Araba, is under heightened anxiety due to the decision by the Presidency to investigate the appointment of Prof Wasiu Lanre Adeyemo as the Chief Medical Director of the hospital. This move comes in response to protests and petitions claiming that the appointment was made without proper authorization.
The selection process for the successor to the former LUTH CMD, Prof Chris Bode, whose tenure ended on March 24, 2023, remained inconclusive until the exit of former President Muhammadu Buhari on May 29. Subsequently, it was alleged that certain well-connected officials in the Federal Ministry of Health hastily dispatched a letter appointing Prof Adeyemo as the substantive CMD, citing a purported Presidential approval signed on Sunday, May 28, 2023, after Buhari had already handed over to President Bola Tinubu on May 26.
The decision to expedite the LUTH appointment, compared to the other five Federal Teaching Hospitals with inconclusive interview processes, raised concerns within the Presidency. In response, President Tinubu, through Chief of Staff Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, ordered a comprehensive probe to determine the involvement of officials in the Federal Ministry of Health and former key figures in the previous administration.
A memo dated October 17, 2023, from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, directed the Coordinating Minister of Health, Prof Ali Pate, to provide a written report on the entire interview selection process. The SGF mandated a prompt response from the Health Minister to facilitate further necessary action.
Upon receiving the memo, the Health Minister instructed the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr Daju Kachollom, to explain why the appointment letter was issued to the LUTH CMD without final clearance from relevant due-diligence agencies, including the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
The Permanent Secretary, Dr Kachollom, reportedly stated that the current officials in the Ministry were not in office during the alleged infractions leading to the LUTH leadership tussle. A source in the Health Ministry assured that justice would be served, and proper administrative procedures would be followed.
This development suggests a potential revamping of the selection process, with Prof Adeyemo and Prof. Femi Fasanmade, a former Chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC), emerging as contenders. Prof Fasanmade has vehemently contested Adeyemo’s appointment through various petitions to the Presidency and the Health Ministry, citing procedural errors and challenging the seniority hierarchy at CMAC.