President Muhammadu Buhari has recalled the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Prof. Usman Yusuf, who was last year suspended by the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole.
Yusuf’s recall was contained in a letter with reference number, ‘SH/COS/10/6/A/29’, signed by the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, wherein the President said he (Yusuf) had been “admonished to work harmoniously with the minister.”
Confirming the receipt of the letter to Punch, the Minister said, “Yes, what you have heard is true.”
It is understood that Yusuf was being grilled by the men of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday over alleged N919m fraud when his letter of reinstatement was sent to the Federal Ministry of Health.
A source at the EFCC said, “The NHIS boss was with us all through Monday and returned on Tuesday for more questioning. His passport was also seized. He will return on another day for more questioning.”
Yusuf’s reinstatement is further baffling seeing as a committee set up by the Health Minister had submitted a probe report to the President last September accusing Yusuf of abuse of office.
In the report, the Department of State Services and the ICPC, the panel described Yusuf as a public servant who “portrayed a holier than thou attitude but at the background, milked the agency dry” by conniving with others to perpetrate fraud to the tune of over N919m.
“His (Yusuf’s) deceitful attitude coupled with ‘name dropping’ of Mr. President as having sent him to sanitise the NHIS but he caused more harm than good to the scheme,” the report read.
The committee further accused Yusuf of nepotism, diversion of funds and contravention of the Procurement Act of 2007.