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Ruckus as suspended NHIS boss arrives office on Monday
USMAN Yusuf, the suspended National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Executive Secretary has resumed to the office on Monday, causing a ruckus at the Scheme’s head office at Utako, Abuja.
NHIS Workers at the office were protesting at the entrance of the building, as Yusuf was escorted by fully armed Nigeria police officers who fired tear gas at workers.
The NHIS workers had locked the entrance gate as early as 7 am. When Yusuf arrived around 8:30 am, the workers tried to stop him, but they were overpowered by the security personnel who followed him.
The NHIS boss was suspended indefinitely by the Governing Council on October 18 over allegations of corruption and sundry offences.
However, Yusuf ignored the resolution and resumed office on Monday.
He had argued that his suspension was illegal and the council has no legislative power to suspend him.
A memo he sent to Enyenatu Ifenna, Chairperson of the Council, stated that only President Muhammadu Buhari has the power to suspend the executive secretary.
“As you are aware, by virtue of Section 8 of the NHIS Act, my appointment, like yours, is at the instance of the President, while the Council’s power of appointment is limited to directors and other employees of the scheme,” the memo read.
At a press conference last week, Ifenna had accused the secretary of allegedly inflating the 2018 budget, “fraudulently inflating the cost of biometric capturing machines,” and “attempt to illegally execute N30 billion in federal government bonds”.
The Council also alleged that Yusuf carried out unauthorised staff travel “in defiance to council directive” among other offences
Yusuf had earlier been suspended in July 2017 by Professor Isaac Adewole, the Minister of Health, but was reinstated in February following the intervention of the House of Representatives.