The Federal Government has suspended Balogun Tajudeen, the acting director of administration at Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH) in Ile-Ife, Osun state, over his involvement in a job racketeering scandal within the institution.

According to Patricia Deworitshe, the director of information at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Tajudeen’s suspension is linked to his part in the job racketeering saga. Additionally, Owojuyigbe Olumuyiwa, OAUTH’s former acting chief medical director, has been implicated in the same scandal and has been absent from his duty since July.

The Ministry intervened due to the unrest sparked within the institution by the recruitment controversy. Deworitshe revealed that under Olumuyiwa’s leadership, the hospital hired over 1,973 staff against a recruitment waiver slot of 450 vacancies granted in 2022 by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation. This action is considered a blatant violation of established rules and regulations.

The hospital conducted recruitment in two phases, hiring 600 staff in the first phase instead of the approved 230, and 1,823 staff in the second phase against an approved 220. Consequently, the hospital recruited 2,423 staff instead of the sanctioned 450, resulting in the employment of 1,973 workers exceeding the approved waiver.

An investigative panel led by Dr. Aderemi Azeez of the Hospital Service Department was formed in August. The panel’s report highlighted Olumuyiwa’s involvement in over-employment and job racketeering, employing 1,973 workers without budget provisions and deviating from the purpose of the 450-worker waiver, which was designated for clinical staff.

The report also revealed that a significant portion of the recruited staff lacked essential academic, professional certificates, or evidence of participating in the mandatory one-year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). Furthermore, the hospital’s staff composition included a disproportionate number of non-clinical officers, contrary to the recommended ratio.