NHIS boss reportedly refuse to go on suspension

Politics Nigeria: Lawmakers Order Minister to Reverse Suspension of 'Corrupt' NHIS Boss

Reps order recall of suspended NHIS boss

These allegations which have received attention by both houses of the National Assembly have seen different stakeholders including Prof Yusuf and other members of the scheme, health ministry officials, and HMO representatives all appear to answer questions on important aspects of the scheme and the different angles to their conflicting positions.

At the end of the deliberation, the minister was ordered to reinstate the suspended Executive Secretary of NHIS, Usman Yusuf, within seven days.

"By virtue of the NHIS Act, particularly section 4 and 8 thereof, my appointment and removal from office, whether by way of suspension or otherwise, is at the instance of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria".

Yusuf also gave five reasons why he would not comply with the suspension order despite being directed he proceeds on a three months suspension.

The health minister had suspended Mr. Yusuf over corruption allegations, one of which was the procurement of a N58 million SUV without due process.

According to him, the suspended NHIS Executive Secretary took steps to visit the Chief Medical Directors of affected tertiary hospitals to verify the veracity of the projects which the Ministry requested for the sum of N197,072,500.

"Except removed from office by the President under the circumstances specified in the NHIS Act, my appointment is for a period of five years".

"The letter of suspension is not in accordance with Public Service Rules as no prima facie case has been established against me in respect of the petition referred to in the letter".

House Majority Leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, said the suspension was an attack on public hearing and the House in general. "The mere fact that there are pending petitions against a public officer which have yet to be substantiated does not constitute grounds for suspension".

Being an agency under the authority of the Presidency, the Acting President apparently is exercising the privilege of the President according to the NHIS Act, which Prof Yusuf has quoted in his statement of defiance of the Minister's suspension.

He said the petitions referred to by the minister were also being investigated by the ICPC, which was yet to submit its findings.

Yusuf has maintained a defiant position that he was never going to honour his suspension and this has been met with an equally firm stand by the health ministry, insisting that he had no option but to comply.

Leading the debate on the motion, Okafor who noted that the House has the right to protect witnesses and support the anti-graft crusade of the present administration, disclosed that the Committee is in possession of documents which showed how the Ministry wanted to turn the NHIS into an impress agency.

A spokesperson to the health ministry, Boade Akinola, however said the ministry was not yet in receipt of the house resolution.

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