Criticisms Trail Presidency Recall Of NHIS’s Boss

Wild criticisms have continued to trail the reinstatement of the Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Professor Usman Yusuf, by the presidency without recourse to the report of the panel investigating him over alleged abuse of office and graft.

Human rights lawyer, Femi Aborishade told INDEPENDENT that the reinstatement of Mr. Yusuf by a Presidential order without trial to prove his guilt or to provide him an opportunity to prove his innocence shows that the so called fight against corruption is discriminatory and it is a huge joke.

According to him, the  presidential directive reinstating Mr. Yusuf without trying him, is no doubt, a continuation of the body language that some people have immunity against trial for allegations of corruption, adding this is nothing but an unacceptable addition to indices of political impunity under the APC regime.

He, however, said the law frowns against indefinite suspension, adding that indefinite suspension of Mr Yusuf was wrong in law.

“Once allegations of corruption were factually established against Mr. Yusuf, the law ought to have been set against him in terms of prosecution.  In other words, whilst indefinite suspension of Mr. Yusuf is wrong in law, his reinstatement without trial represents political impunity, which is worse than financial corruption, which the APC government claims to be fighting,” he added.

Nelson Ekujumi, Executive Chairman, Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate, said the recall of the suspended NHIS executive secretary by the presidency and without mincing words, the recall without recourse to the minister who set up a committee to investigate him for corruption and abuse of office.

He also said the development is irresponsible and irresponsive because it leaves a sour taste in the mouth, adding that: “This recall is an abuse of due process, disappointing and a dent on the anti- corruption war of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.”

The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), has stated that the recall of Yusuf was another dent in the anti-corruption crusade of President Buhari.

The ASCSN Secretary-General, Comrade Alade Bashir Lawal posited that the action of the president was capable of being interpreted to mean that the government anti-graft war was selective and designed to deal with specific targets.

“How can a government official being investigated for a whopping sum of N919 million fraud by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) be reinstated by the government that came to power promising to sanitize the system.

“This is very unfortunate.  We, therefore, urge President Buhari to rescind his action and allow Professor Yusuf to leave the system in peace.

“This is the type of action that continues to give the like of United State President, Donald Trump, the effrontery to be deriding Africa and its leaders,” the Union says.

According to the ASCSN, the Investigative Panel set up by the Minister of Health to look into the atrocities of Professor Yusuf which include engaging Consultancy Firm in which he had vested interest to be ripping off the NHIS was serious public demeanour that should not be condoned.

It is also on record that Professor Yusuf had recruited persons from his primordial constituency who are on grade level 10 in the State Public Service and imposed them on the staff of the NHIS by placing them on grade level 15 and above.

“This is one intervention too many and as such Mr. President should allow Professor Yusuf to retire from service to have time to run his personal business,” the Union added.

The union maintained  that the dust surrounding the smuggling of Maina, former Chairman, Presidential Task Forces on Pension Reforms back to the Public Service was just settling down and now it is the re-instatement of Professor Yusuf.

The Health and Managed Care Association of Nigeria (HMCAN) has threatened to sue the federal government over the recall of the suspended Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Usman Yusuf.

Stating this in a press conference in Lagos yesterday, the Chairman of the Association, Dr. Tunde Ladele said since Prof. Yusuf was already under investigation, President Muhammadu Buhari should have waited till the case was over before either reinstating him or upholding the suspension.

He said for someone who was accused of embezzling several millions of naira, and involved in nepotism, there was no basis for his recall except cleared after investigations.

“It was reported that the panel set up by the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole had found that the sum of N919m had been dubiously given to consultants for staff training and recommended that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) probe the Agency for diversion of funds and contravention of the Procurement Act.

“We therefore advised that in the spirit of transparency, accountability and the stance of government on anti corruption, the report and investigation should not be swept under the carpet. Doing this will erode public confidence and cast a doubt on the sincerity of government,” he added.





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