Following the second suspension handed down to the embattled Executive Chairman of the National Health Insurance Commission (NHIS), Professor Usman Yusuf by the commission’s governing board, Nigerians have continued to call for thorough investigation of the allegations levelled against him.
Reacting also to the recent suspension and forceful invasion of his office by Professor Yusuf, the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) has also asked that Professor Yusuf be summoned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the ICPC (Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission).
The group stated that the allegations were such that cannot just be swept under the carpet with proper and thorough investigation and likely prosecution of alleged fraudulent practices attributed to him while in office.
The Executive Chairman of CACOL, Debo Adeniran, said that “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 N919million, 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”, the antigraft group said.
They appealed 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.
“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”, they added.