Home / Featured / Buhari reinstates NHIS boss under probe for alleged N919m fraud

Buhari reinstates NHIS boss under probe for alleged N919m fraud

*After frittering N919m, go and sin no more

*Work in harmony with your minister

President Muhammadu Buhari has recalled the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Usman Yusuf, who was suspended by the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, on 6th July, 2017 for allegations bordering misappropriation of about N919million.

In a letter with reference number, ‘SH/COS/10/6/A/29’, signed by the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, the President informed the minister of Yusuf’s recall, adding that he (Yusuf) had been “admonished to work harmoniously with the minister.”

The letter, it was learnt, was sent to the minister on Tuesday evening. When our correspondent called the minister to confirm the new development, Adewole only said, “Yes, what you have heard is true.” He refused to answer any further inquiries about the issue.

Sources at the Federal Ministry of Health also confirmed Yusuf’s reinstatement. They did not, however, disclose when the NHIS boss would resume.

The letter recalling Yusuf made no mention of the probe he (Yusuf) was facing at the EFCC. This may mean that all the allegations have been swept under the carpet thus, he goes to start all the allegations of abuse of office under the carpet.

Incidentally, Yusuf was being grilled by the men of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday when his letter of reinstatement was sent to the Federal Ministry of Health.

Yusuf, who is being probed by the EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC). He was accused of perpetrating fraud to the tune of about N919million.

A committee set up by the minister had submitted a probe report to the President last September accusing Yusuf of various levels of abuse of office.

In the report which was compiled by senior officials of the health ministry, the Department of State Services and the ICPC, the panel described Yusuf as a public servant who “portrayed a holier than thou attitude but at the background, milked the agency dry” by conniving with others to perpetrate fraud to the tune of over N919million.

According to the panel, the N919million was dubiously given as payment to consultants for staff training. He appointed staffers beyond his powers without recourse to the Ministry supervising his agency.

The committee said as the head of the agency, Yusuf was personally responsible for all administrative, procurement and financial lapses.

According to the report, “His (Yusuf’s) deceitful attitude coupled with ‘name dropping’ of President Buhari as having sent him to sanitise the NHIS but he caused more harm than good to the scheme.” Both men are Fulanis and northern Muslims.

The committee, therefore, recommended that the EFCC probe the agency for diversion of funds and contravention of the Procurement Act of 2007.

The report stated that Yusuf contravened the Procurement Act of 2007 through nepotism and other irregular award of contracts and should be sanctioned in line with the provision of the Act.

Explaining how the alleged staff training scam took place, the committee said in some instances, the number of trainees was far more than the entire number of employees at the agency while in some other instances, some employees were registered for the same training in two different states at the same time.

Most of the consultants were said to have charged about N250, 000 per participant.

www.gongnews.net had widely reported indepth allegations against Yusuf, who is close to the cabal in the Presidency, had been making moves to return to his post.

When we reached out to him to respond to the allegations levelled against him last December on phone, Yusuf had said, “Fuck you, and fuck the minister.”

Meanwhile, it was learnt that Yusuf was grilled for over 12 hours at the EFCC on Monday and Tuesday.

A source at the EFCC said, “The NHIS boss was with us all through Monday and returned on Tuesday for more questioning. His passport was also seized. He will return on another day for more questioning.”

With the latest development, he may be returning to work while the investigations against him may be called off.

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