THE Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) has handed over an illegally converted hospital worth N150 million to a university community.
The hospital located at Ebunwana community in Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State was meant for the Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu Alike Ikwo (FUNAI), but was illegally converted into a profit-making health facility by the host community and a medical consultant.
A statement released by ICPC spokesperson Azuka Ogugua said the commission’s Constituency and Executive Project Tracking Group (CEPTG) had, in phase two of its tracking exercise, discovered that the hospital, which was constructed as a constituency project, was not being used for the purpose for which it was conceived.
The statement further explained that the hospital, which was fully equipped with state-of-the-art medical facilities, was conceived as a medical outpost of FUNAI and meant to serve as a teaching hospital for medical students.
The project, appropriated in the 2019 budget and completed in March 2020 at the cost of N150 million, was facilitated by the then Senator representing Ebonyi South Senatorial District, Senator Sonni Ogbuoji.
However, after completing the project, the local community unofficially took over the hospital and renamed the facility.
A consultant was appointed to manage the hospital on a profit-sharing arrangement between the community and the consultant.
“Following the illegality that enshrouded the constituency project, the Commission ensured that the hospital was handed over to the institution for which it was appropriated and executed.
“The CEPTG team recovered the project and handed it over to the university community on March 25, 2022,” the statement said.
The ICPC said it would unravel how the local community took control of the hospital.