Liberia: Board of Phebe Hospital Clears Former Staff Following Audit By Internal Audit Agency

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Gbarnga – The Board of Phebe Hospital has cleared two of its former staff of allegations of payroll paddling and financial misapplication.

It can be recalled, the hospital’s Board in July 2019 suspended four of its senior staff for time indefinite, including Kerson K. Saykor, administrator of the hospital, Patrick Y. Jackson, comptroller of the hospital, Jonathan L. Pewu, Human Resource manager of the hospital and Jeremiah F. Akoi, senior accountant of the hospital, in anticipation of an audit by the Internal Audit Agency following claims of financial misapplication at the hospital by Bong’s District Three lawmaker, Marvin Cole.

The audit findings established that the four senior staff were not guilty of the allegations that led to their suspension. 

The audit also established that the four senior staff diverted funds for the institution to purchase materials for the hospital. The audit findings established that the actions of the four senior staff were done “in good faith” and as such they should not be held liable for the “act of financial misapplication”.

Following the findings of the audit, the hospital’s Board reinstated two of the senior staff – Jackson and Akoi –  and parted ways with Pewu and Saykor.

Addressing a news conference in Gbarnga, the chairman of the hospital’s Board, Tornolah Varpilah, said the Board parted company with the two senior staff because of the “political nature” that engulfed the hospital during their suspension, even though they were not found guilty by the audit report.

Pewu and Saykor, Varpilah said, have been placed back on the Phebe’s payroll, awaiting transfer to the Ministry of Health.

Varpilah said Pewu and Saykor would be transferred out of perceived fear and witch-hunt workers at the hospital have against them when they return to the hospital.

“That’s is the only reason Saykor and Pewu will be transferred. The management of the hospital the both of them clearances ahead of their transfer. In fact, Saykor is still on the Hospital’s compound with his family,” Varpilah said.

“We want to make it categorically clear that the decision to part company with them is unconnected to the allegations of financial malpractice that led to their indefinite suspension. They diligently served the hospital and we are grateful for their commitment over the years.”

Samuel Kplaiwru, Phebe Hospital’s communications director, said the Board, in consultations with the management of the hospital, gave Saykor and Pewu the credence to leave after they were found not guilty.

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