Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, has directed Health Minister, Isaac Adewole, to probe the allegations against suspended Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, Usman Yusuf.
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.
Osinbajo’s directive is coming barely 24 hours after the House of Representatives asked the minister to recall the embattled NHIS boss.
Online portal, TheCable, quoted sources the Acting President had already directed the minister to probe the allegations of fraud against Yusuf.
In a letter dated July 10, 2017, Ade Ipaye, Chief of Staff to the acting president, acknowledged receipt of two petitions against Yusuf, dated April 21, 2017, from one Solomon Agbo and another, dated May 12, 2017, from Dr Tunde Ladele.
Ipaye wrote: “His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, 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 inquiries and necessary action.
“Please accept the assurances of His Excellency, the Acting President’s consideration and best wishes.” An NHIS official said “recalling Yusuf while he is being probed is administratively wrong because he could interfere with investigations”.
He added: “As we talk, 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 told the online portal that the procurement department was informed by the Bureau for Public Procurement that it was beyond the powers of the executive secretary to approve the purchase of N58 million SUV but 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 time because he could no longer cope with the pressure,” the source added.
He is said to also have boasted that he is from the same state (Katsina) as President Buhari and that nobody could touch him. Yusuf has denied all allegations, maintaining that he was being victimised for fighting corruption in NHIS.