The Federal Ministry of Health will, on Monday (today), write to the Nigeria Police Force to secure the National Health Insurance Scheme headquarters in Utako, Abuja, as the suspended Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the NHIS, Prof. Yusuf Usman, has vowed to resume this week.
Sources told our correspondent that the move had become necessary due to Usman’s rejection of his suspension by the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole.
The committee, set up by the minister to investigate Yusuf, which comprises senior officials of the ministry and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, is sitting at the NHIS headquarters.
Ministry sources said allowing the suspended NHIS boss to resume could affect the work of the committee and had thus found it necessary for the police to secure the premises.
Besides, the ministry is also worried that members of the union, who had warned Yusuf not to resume, could clash with Yusuf’s supporters, who are expected to escort him to the headquarters of the agency this week.
A source at the ministry stated, “We are drafting a letter, which will be sent to all security agencies, regarding the intention of the suspended NHIS boss to forcefully resume. We want to forestall any trouble because members of the union have warned him to stay away and there could be a brawl.
“Yusuf has said he rejects the suspension and we have information that he may storm the agency this week with his supporters. The police will be expected to secure the premises and also protect members of the committee who are currently sitting.”
Sources within the ministry said Yusuf had been emboldened by the resolution of the House of Representatives, which gave the minister seven days to reinstate him.
The resolution of the House is however advisory and carries no legal consequence if disobeyed.
The ministry had, last week, maintained that it had the right to suspend Yusuf and that he would remain suspended.
Yusuf, who is also under investigation by the Senate, was, amongst other things, accused of “corrupt expenditure of N292m for health care financing training; illegal expenditure of N218m for training of members of staff; scandalous expenditure of N400m purportedly for training during the month of October 2016; and N50m for T-shirts and Fez caps despite presidential order banning promotional items and souvenirs.”
The Punch News