Acting President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) has directed the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, to probe the corruption allegations leveled against the suspended Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Usman Yusuf. Osinbajo also directed the minister to take necessary action after the conclusion of the probe. The embattled Yusuf was suspended last week Thursday by the minister of health whose ministry supervises the NHIS.
Osinbajo had directed Adewole to probe Yusuf, who is now under three months suspension, following his alleged involvement in fraud and mismanagement. Incidentally, the House of Representatives had on Wednesday asked the minister to recall the suspended ES on the grounds that it is probing allegations of fraud in the NHIS. But the Daily Time gathered that Osinbajo had already directed the health minister to probe the allegations of fraud against Yusuf. The newspaper also reported on Wednesday that alleged corruption and nepotism had tore the NHIS apart, adding that the Yusuf was alleged to have expended about N860million on frivolous contracts and training. But the directive to probe the ES was contained a letter dated July 10, 2017 by the Chief of Staff to the Acting President, Mr Ade Ipaye, acknowledging the receipt of two petitions against Yusuf dated April 21, 2017 from Solomon Agbo and May 12, 2017 from Dr Tunde Ladele. The letter reads in part, “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, Prof 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.” But some stakeholders in the health sector have frowned against the directive of the House, asking the health minister to recall Yusuf without finding out the situation from the supervisory ministry of health, saying that “administratively, it is wrong on the grounds that Yusuf could interfere with ongoing investigations against him.” A source close to the matter also confided in The Daily Times that, “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.” Daily Times also gathered that the the Executive Secretary approved and expended money that were above his threshold of N2.5million and acted contrary to to the extant rule. The source also said that, ” 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. Yusuf was also said to have boasted that he hails from the same Katsina State with President Muhammadu Buhari and he’s untouchable. But Yusuf has denied all the allegations, insisting that he was being victimised for exposing the rot at the NHIS.