Christian Blind Mission suspends programme with Makkah Eye Hospital over fraud allegation
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By Haruna Mohammed SALISU
CHRISTIAN Blind Mission, CBM, an International Christian Development Organisation working in Nigeria has suspended its eye care programme with Makkah Eye Specialist Hospital, Bauchi following fraud allegations published by The ICIR and WikkiTimes.
Sources familiar with the incident told The ICIR/WikkiTimes that CBM has launched an independent investigation over suspected shoddy deals involving free surgery pact it has with Makkah Eye Specialists Hospital Bauchi.
The surgery agreement was a pact where Christian Blind Mission agreed to sponsor patients in need of cataract surgery at the hospital, an agreement Makkah Eye Clinic allegedly breached by asking the patients to pay N8,000 each before they would be qualified for surgery.
The ICIR/WikkiTimes learnt that the International office of CBM through its Country Director in Nigeria conveyed the decision of their head office to the regional office of Makkah Eye Specialist Hospital Kano.
A source familiar with the communication between the two bodies told WikkiTimes that “CBM maintained that anything capable of casting aspersions on its name or that of the targeted beneficiaries of its programme will not be accepted.
Related Report: Inside Makkah Eye Specialist Hospital Bauchi where exorbitant charges, tax evasion have become norms
“CBM Country Director in Nigeria was asked to write to Al-Basar International Foundation to suspend the programme indefinitely pending when they will conduct their own investigation on the issues raised in the investigative story published,”, according to the source.
The source said the project has now been suspended, “Until CBM conclude its investigation.”
When contacted, Achille Chongwa Njinimbot, Compliance Manager, Christian Blind Mission, confirmed receiving evidence about the allegations. “We are currently reviewing evidence within our disposal to ascertain the state of affairs,” he said.
The ICIR/WikkiTimes’ investigation has detailed how the hospital deviated from its creed of affordable healthcare, resorted to charging clients three times the amount in similar private institutions.
The report has also unearthed how the clinic consistently maltreats patients seeking medical help, disengages local staff on frivolous charges and shortchanges the Bauchi State Government in tax revenues for six years. The management of the hospital confirmed this infraction in an interview earlier granted on the subject.
The foundation has dragged WikkiTimes, its Publisher and a reporter to court over the report.
But The ICIR/WikkiTimes stands by the story.