Monday , October 18 2021

CACOL calls for trial of suspended NHIS executive secretary

The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has backed the calls for suspended Executive Secretary of National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS,Professor Usman Yusuf, to be summoned by relevant anti-graft agency in the country, i.e. the EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) and ICPC (Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission), for necessary investigation and likely prosecution of alleged fraudulent practices attributed to him while in office.

In a release issued by the organization’s Coordinator, Media and Publications, Adegboyega Otunuga, the Executive Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, said, “It is baffling to us, how an individual whose propriety has been found wanting with public funds would brazenly drop the president’s name after he has been found guilty by a probe panel and without approaching any court of law to clear his name, if he, indeed though his name was maligned by such damning report.

We would note that this same Professor Yusuf was suspended by the same Minister of Health, in July last year after a panel set up by the ministry had accused him of perpetrating fraud to the tune of N919mn (Nine Hundred and Nineteen Million Naira), but was controversially reinstated this January without any necessary investigation or appropriate official review of his case that absolved him of any wrongdoings.

While all this was ongoing, the relevant anti-corruption agencies were left in limbo instead of being mobilized to take up the matter for proper investigation and trial, if found guilty.

“Aside the corruption allegations leveled against the Executive Secretary of NHIS by many of the workers and their union leaders, there have been allegations of incompetence, favouritism/nepotism, highhandedness, etc., while he has also been accused of always insisting that it is only Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari, who could finally remove and replace him, if there was a need for it.

While CACOL, as an anti-graft organization would not want to be immersed in the politics of how NHIS is run, we insist that where the issue of corruption is alleged, especially in a public corporation and strategic national health scheme like this, the judicious thing to do would not be an indication of bias but the insufferability of corruption as a social menace.

This is why we strongly appeal to the entire management of the NHIS governing board and the federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari to not only strengthen his fight against corruption by ensuring that nobody is seen to be above the law wherever and whenever corruption rears its head, but to always ensure that this is patently seen to be so.”

The CACOL Boss added, “Another case in mind was that of the Kano state governor, Ganduje and the alleged collection of millions of American Dollars as percentage kickbacks from every contract his administration has issued out.

We insist that the viral video be officially investigated without any interference or undue manipulation by both the state and federal governments; just as our faith and confidence in the present federal government to frontally extirpate corruption from our land remains unshaken.

“We however, must sound an alert about fifth columnists who may want to use the occasion of the election period to bastardize the resolve of the government on the fight by condoning same evil he promised to combat, without fear or favour.”

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