Osinbajo asks minister to probe suspended NHIS boss

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has directed Isaac Adewole, minister of health, to probe the allegations against Usman Yusuf, the suspended executive secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), TheCable understands.

Yusuf was suspended by Adewole last week over allegations of fraud, but he is alleging that it was because he refused to accede to illegal requests from the minister.

The house of representatives on Wednesday asked the minister to recall the suspended ES.

But presidency sources informed TheCable that Osinbajo had already directed Adewole to probe the allegations of fraud against Yusuf.

In a letter dated July 10, 2017, Ade Ipaye, the chief of staff to the acting president, acknowledged receipt of two petitions against Yusuf, “dated April 21, 2017 from Solomon Agbo” and “May 12, 2017 from Dr Tunde Ladele”.

Ipaye wrote: “His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, Acting President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, is in receipt of the referred two petitions, in which allegations of fraud and abuse of office were levied against the Executive Secretary of NHIS, Professor Yusuf Usman; and has directed that the petitions be forwarded to you for inquiry and necessary action.

“Please accept the assurances of His Excellency, the Acting President’s consideration and best wishes.”

An NHIS official told The Cable that “recalling Yusuf while he is being probed is administratively wrong because he could interfere with investigations”.

“As we talk,” he said, adding: “Prof Yusuf has already moved out three Ghana Must Go bags containing among other things many documents and the files of all GMs. The location he’s keeping them is unknown till date against all civil service rules.”

An insider also informed TheCable that the procurement department was informed by the Bureau for Public Procurement that it was beyond the powers of the ES to approve the purchase of N58 million SUV “but he still went ahead to buy it”.

“The ministers of labour and health also directed him to reverse the secondment of GMs he brought to NHIS without ministerial approval and he disobeyed the directive for a long under he could no longer cope with the pressure,” the source added.

He is said to also boast that he is from the same state (Katsina) as President Muhammadu Buhari and that nobody could touch him.

Yusuf has denied all allegations, maintaining that he was being victimised for fighting corruption in NHIS.

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