The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL has lauded the Federal Government’s suspension of the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Professor Usman Yusuf, for alleged fraud and misappropriation of funds but frowns at the government’s setting up of a seven-man panel to investigate the allegations leveled against him.
It would be recalled that Professor Usman Yusuf was indicted to have misappropriated over N900mn (Nine Hundred Million Naira) by a probe panel that was set up by the ministry.
Aside the corruption allegations leveled against him and strongly supported by many of the workers and their union leaders, there have been allegations of incompetence, favouratism/nepotism, highhandedness, etc., while he insisted that only President Muhammadu Buhari could remove or suspend him from office.
Reacting to this on behalf of the Centre, its Executive Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, in a press release issued by the organization’s Coordinator of Media and Publications, Adegboyega Otunuga, stated,
“Even though we are happy that Mr. President, has finally shown that he was not afraid to allow unfettered access to justice by all parties through invocation of administrative leave to Professor Usman Yusuf, the man in the eye of the storm of corruption allegations amongst other things, we still insist that the setting up of a seven (7) man-panel to investigate the alleged infractions by the Executive Secretary was at best, a duplicitous effort that may not necessarily be trusted by all parties concerned, especially the Nigerian public whose sole interest of accessing affordable and quality health delivery has been in jeopardy over this crisis.
“It is good enough that the EFCC(Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) and ICPC (Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission) have waded into the matter.
However, what the federal government under Muhammadu Buhari ought to have done was to apply the suspension order of the Executive Secretary, as it had done and request the anti-graft agencies to expedite actions on their investigation and arrive at a thorough and convincing conclusion.
This is because, it is only these two agencies that are statutorily equipped and empowered to carry out such investigation on corruption allegations, especially as it affects governmental ministries and departments.”
The CACOL Boss adds, “Once again, we appeal to the current federal government that as an administration that prides itself as fully committed to the fight against corruption in the country, it must not only ensure that the right approach is always employed in the fight, but manifestly so.
This is the only way it could always assure itself to have done the right things and shut its critics’ mouth of double standard.
“In similar vein, we call for the suspension and commencement of trial of Chairman, Presidential Investigative Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla, whose WAEC (West African Examination Council) O-Level results have since been confirmed by the examination body, to have been illegally altered.
This would not only restore the public confidence in Mr. President’s fight against corruption.
It will make it clear that the fight was genuine and total, irrespective of whose ox is gored.”