- The reinstated executive secretary of NHIS, Usman Yusuf, accuses some directors of the agency of paying a lawyer's legal fees upfront contrary to procurement laws
- The accused directors dismiss the allegations as a witch-hunt and selective persecution
- Saraki, Dogara declare that there is no date for the National Assembly to reconvene
The alleged corruption scandal rocking the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has continued as the reinstated executive secretary of the agency, Usman Yusuf, and other top officials have accused each other of fraud.
Premium Times reports that Yusuf who returned from a seven-month suspension in February 2018, after President Muhammadu Buhari turned aside the recommendations of a ministerial probe panel that indicted him of misconduct, has alleged that the top management officials paid upfront to lawyer they engaged to defend the agency in a case instituted by Yusuf’s predecessor, Martins Thomas, over his removal as executive secretary in April 2015.
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The executive secretary told the governing council of the agency that, Attahiru Ibrahim, and three other directors acted irregularly in the engagement of the lawyer, in particular by allegedly paying his fee upfront, contrary to procurement laws.
However, the accused directors have dismissed the allegations against them by Usman Yusuf as a witch-hunt and selective persecution of those he considered as not in his favour as a selective
The directors said: “We wish to state emphatically and for the records, that the pressure and harassment of the officers under investigation is being mounted by the Executive Secretary, Prof Usman Yusuf as an extension of the culture of siege he has imposed on the organisation since he arrived on the scene, and the vicious witch-hunt and selective persecution of those he considered as not in his favour, particularly for raising the flag against his high-handedness and wanton abuse of due process for personal advantage,” Mr Ibrahim wrote in a memo dated July 9 to the chairman of the governing council, Enyatu Ifenne.
Ibrahim further accused the executive secretary of cases various infractions including alleged financial mismanagement, financial recklessness, and breach breach of financial regulations among others.
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The director also alleged that Yusuf awarded contracts to a company owned by his elder brother which also does not have competence in the areas covered by the contracts.
In another news report, the president of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, and the speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on Tuesday, August 14, declared that there is no date for the National Assembly to reconvene to consider the INEC budget before it.
The two leaders of the National Assembly released a joint statement signed by their spokespersons, Yusuph Olaniyonu and Turaki Hassan, respectively.
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