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EFCC arraigns Owerri Federal Medical Centre boss, 2 others

The embattled Medical Director of the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Mrs. Angela Uwakwem, has been arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before an Imo State High Court, on an 18-count charge that border on alleged fraudulent activities.
Also facing the same charges with Dr. Uwakwem are Mr. Emmanuel Ajayi and a limited liability company, Swiss Biostadt Limited.
Uwakwem was accused of conspiracy, forgery, abuse of office and questionable movement of cash from one sub-head to another, to the tune of N240 million.
The particulars of offence in count two read: “Dr. Angela Uwakwem, while being the Medical Director of Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Imo State; Emmanuel Ajayi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Swiss Biostadt Limited and Swiss Biostadt Limited, sometime between 2014 and 2015, in Owerri, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, in the course of your official duties, inflated the price of an injector contrast media, to the tune of N8.8 million, in the award of contract for the supply of various medical equipment to Swiss Biostadt, above the prevailing market price of N3.2 million.”
In count nine, Uwakwem was also accused of inflating the price of Digital Thermometre to the tune of N1.6 million, to the same company, above the prevailing market price of N550,000.
While taking her plea after the charges were read out to her, she pleaded not guilty to all the 18 counts.
Her counsel, Chief Chukwuma Ekomaru (SAN), prayed the court to grant his client bail on very liberal terms, especially as the alleged offences are bailable and the presiding judge, Justice Florence Duruoha-Igwe, granted the accused N1 million bail with two sureties in like sum before adjourning the matter to November 24 for hearing.

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