EXCLUSIVE: Five reasons I will ignore Health Minister’s suspension order – NHIS Executive Secretary

Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Usman Yusuf [Photo: Concise News]
Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Usman Yusuf [Photo: Concise News]

The suspended Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, Usman Yusuf, has given five reasons why he will ignore his suspension from office as ordered by the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole.

Mr. Yusuf, in his letter dated July 12, acknowledged receiving the suspension letter dated July 6, but gave five reasons why he would not comply with the suspension.

In his own letter addressed to the minister, using the NHIS letterhead, Mr. Yusuf said he received the letter directing him to proceed on three months suspension with immediate effect to pave way for uninterrupted investigation of petitions against him in accordance with Public Service Rules.

He, however, said he would not comply with the directives for the following five reasons:

“1. By virtue of the NHIS Act particularly section 4 and 8 thereof, my appointment and removal from office whether by way of suspension or otherwise is at the instance of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“2. Except removed from office by the president under circumstances specified in the NHIS Act, my appointment is for a period of five (5) years subject to further term of the same period at the discretion of the president.

“3. Although by virtue of section 47 of the NHIS Act, you are empowered to give directives of a general nature to the Governing Council of the Scheme and in the absence of the Council, you have Presidential mandate to exercise the powers and functions of the council, but since the powers and functions of the Council do not include discipline, suspension or removal of the Executive Secretary of the Scheme from office, the directive in your letter under reference cannot find comfort under the said section or presidential mandate; and

“4. The letter of suspension is not in accordance with Public Service Rules as no prima facie case has been established against me in respect of the petition referred to in the letter. The mere fact that there are pending petitions against a public officer which is yet to be substantiated does not constitute a ground for suspension under the Public Service Rules. otherwise, with over 18,000 petitions pending against public officer holders before the EFCC and ICPC as at the end of June 2017, the total number of public officers who would have been on suspension by now including Honourable Ministers is left to be imagined.

“5. As you are aware, the petition referred to in your letter are currently being investigated by the ICPC which is yet to submit its report. In view of the criminal nature of most of the allegations in the petitions, security/investigative agencies like ICPC are the appropriate agencies for investigation contemplated in your letter; not a Ministerial Committee. I have cooperated fully with the investigations so far and will continue to do so.”

The embattled health insurance chief asked that the minister allow “investigations of these petitions to follow due process.”

PREMIUM TIMES had broken the news of Mr. Yusuf’s suspension last week over corruption allegations.

The minister had directed Mr. Yusuf to hand over to the most senior officer in the in the parastatal, a directive Mr. Yusuf refused to comply with; although he has not been to his office since the suspension.

The Ministry of Health had earlier explained the minister’s suspension order, saying it was as a result of various allegations and petitions against Mr. Yusuf, and to allow for unhindered investigations.

Mr. Adewole also directed the setting up of an investigative committee to look in the various allegations in accordance with the Public Service Rules.

Mr. Yusuf’s letter to the minister was sent same day the House of Representatives ordered his reinstatement, a directive that is not binding on the health ministry. The lawmakers’ position has been condemned by a civil society group who said the resolution was one which encouraged corruption.


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  • Godfrey Etokebe

    “3. Although by virtue of section 47 of the NHIS Act, you are empowered to give directives of a general nature to the Governing Council of the Scheme and in the absence of the Council, you have Presidential mandate to exercise the powers and functions of the council, but since the powers and functions of the Council do not include discipline, suspension or removal of the Executive Secretary of the Scheme from office, the directive in your letter under reference cannot find comfort under the said section or presidential mandate”

    I hope that the honourable can response to this allegation immediately i order to clarify this issue further.

  • absam777

    This Hausa-Fulani people has finished Nigeria with their arrogance. You don’t take law into your hands. You go to court . That is what a civilise person will do

    • Julius

      Question…do we only have all Hausa-Fulanis in the house of reps ? Aint they all telling the Minister to recall the man or you didn’t wanna read that ? Look, people can only do what you allow them to do to you. THe none Hausa-Fulani in the body should have said NO and back the Minister. Right ? So , why we blaming the ‘others’ ?

      • absam777

        QUESTION…. do we have two Presidency? When a mere civil servant openly says that he cannot follow a directive from the Presidency to the minister, he is courting and causing wahala. He deliberately ran to the Reps because the North has a majority and control key posts there too. The Southern guy in the NASS are only there for their own pocket. The Northerners are well organised with one agenda – THE CONTROL OF POWER. Just look at Buhari’s government, despite the fact that he could never have got their in his own political strength, yet he surround himself with his own people. Obviously, GEJ did the same with his SS/SE gang. You can deduce from the statements of the NHIS chief that he is answerable to only a northerner. And guess who heads the the NASS……..HAUSA FULANI.

        • Julius

          So we the Southerners are so lame that we can’t do anything about that ? Didn’t you also said that Jonathan did the same thing when he was the President ? So back to my question…why are we blaming the Northerners ? Maybe we should be blaming ourselves. Just a thought !

    • Mufu Ola

      Na Hausa/Fulani problem go kill all u Igbos!

      • Julius

        Bro, they are actually scare of Hausa-Fulanis. Look at their reactions to the notice the Arewa boys sent out to them. That should tell you everything you need to know about their loud mouths and chest beatings…na all noise nothing more !

      • Garba sani

        Hahahahahhha,,! Wallahi I that is very true ooh .hahahahha.

  • Jackal&Hyena Slayer

    Hahaha!
    All-Peoples-CONFUSION party!
    APC mob rejoiced that the president can hire and fire..and don’t need senates confirmation of Magun.
    Now this man throws same back to his minister.
    APC..una welldone ooooo!

  • APCchains

    See how the Hausa/Fulani man is slighting his Yoruba boss. Showing him ‘shege’!
    Kai! Haba jamaa!
    The pet the SW-APC guys nurtured has become their FRANKINSTEIN.
    LWKMD!!!

    • Absolutely Sane

      It saddens any sensible man today to see majority of average Nigerians, when they have to comment on public issues, make sentimental contributions either in form of tribal sentiment or religious bigotry or political prejudice.
      Imagine this coming from another Nigerian whose sense is in total negation of reasoning. What the man has simply done in the report is knowing his right which requires commonsensical approach from the Minister to deal politely with it. I am sure if you were the one, you will not do what the gentleman did. Rather, you will carry stone and cutlass and start looking for the Minister or send hired killer to him.
      All hope is not lost; you can still change only if you don’t think it’s too late.

    • Papajoh

      Shege banza! You got it! Who is the Minister to query or suspend him? Myetti Allah’s is superior to the government and only the patron of Myetti Allah can suspend a subordinate of the Minister.

      The man cannot be suspended, he is Fulani. Simple

    • Julius

      Didn’t you read that the House of Reps is backing the dude which includes your all powerful biafrauds ? Oh, my bad, that did not fit your naratives…abi.

    • Mufu Ola

      Don’t worry.We don’t need your weeping.

  • FreeNigeria

    I weep for my country Nigeria. This is a country in total disarray.

  • Abdullah Musa

    Some people, desperately want that NHIS chair, such that due process must not be observed.
    If there is a petition against someone why not let him answer first?
    So anyone who wants someone out can write any spurious petition and get that person removed without proof of guilt.

    • Qaqa Abu

      @abdullahmusa:disqus

      “The real problem with the country is that Jihad has been launched in
      Nigeria; and Islamists that have been interfering in the governance of the
      country using “Taqiyya” (approved deception) as “Stealth/Civilisation Jihad”,
      and Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen as violent Jihad, are relentless in their
      pursuit of eradicating democracy in Nigeria. The objective of the Islamists
      (Political Islam) is to supplant the constitution of Nigeria with Sharia
      ideology as the source of legislation in the nation. The conflict between
      democracy as national ideology, and Sharia as a usurping ideology, is
      responsible for the crisis unfolding in Nigeria. The nation is in the throes
      of Jihad.”

      …………Army Generals T.Y Danjuma, Joshua Dongoyaro

      and Zamani Lekwot

      (July 14th, 2017)

      • Abdullah Musa

        Irresponsible people can say whatever they want.
        They will mislead fools, but the wise understand their antics.

    • Patriot01

      Exactly

  • Zaka

    That’s why it is important to be lettered,and to know what the law says. The man would have been removed from the office if he were knowledgeable enough. The burden of proof is on the claimant.

  • Man_Enough

    Usman Yusuf should obey before complaining. He is not in position to interpret the law. He should obey and then go to court. If at the end of the day the court agrees that his rights have been infringed upon, he will be granted any commensurate reparations. He cannot take the law into his own hands.

    • Nasiru Sani

      The so called minister has the right to interpret law,that is why he is suspending someone that he has no constitutional rights to appoint or suspend from office. You ethnic bigot.

    • Garba sani

      Na Hausa/Fulani problem go kill all u Igbos!

  • Julius

    Yep and our shameless morons House of REPs is backing this man. Unfreaking believable !

  • serubawon70

    0ver to Osinbajo

  • Mani_Kay

    SOUTHERN CHRISTIAN INFIDELS NEVER LEARN THEIR LESSONS!

    When has it become that a Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani will accept a suspension order from a Southern Christian infidel?

    Is Health Minister Isaac Adewole too young to remember what happened to Alabo Graham Douglas when he was IBB’S Minister for Aviation (1990 – 1992). ……. how that Alabo Graham-Douglas’s suspension of some Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani boys in Nigeria Airways was openly disobeyed by the Hausa-Fulani boys …. and eventually IBB sacked Alabo Graham-Douglas as Minister of Aviation for having the boldness to issue query to some Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani people in Nigeria Airways.

    Of course we all remember that the Hausa-Fulani boys never replied the query that was issued to them rather they made public mockery of the query and nothing came out of it except that the Hausa-Fulani boys continued on their jobs at Nigeria Airways while Alabo Graham-Douglas was disgracefully sacked from his Ministerial position.

  • Wilfred Bankole Ademokun

    Mr. Barawo , heheheheee sorry ooo Mr Yusufu Usman you should realize that as a civil servant you must step aside for proper investigation, or you get arrested and charged to court of law, you are not covered with any immunity and the post you are in charge can be terminated at any time if you are found wanting. STOP DISOBEYING AUTHORITY AND REPRESENTATIVE OF THE PRESIDENT IN HEALTH MINISTRY.

  • Mentus

    And people in their right mind think this can remain one country. It is interesting that his first two reasons are because he was appointed by the president. It is for the same reason that Magu will not bow out of office even if he has to ACT till another preseident is elected.
    Nigerians generally lack integrity.
    Do these people in high offices who resist suspension/ removal not realise they are role models to the younger generation. Being asked to go on suspension is not exactly being sacked, and his salary will still be paid.
    If indeed his hands are clean, why would he not step aside, give them free hand to do the investigation and hopefully be vindicated in the end.
    Clinging on to positions gives the impression that these appointees are planted in those position for reasons other than meet the eye.

    • Nasiru Sani

      He was appointed by the president not minister, and the issue is the minister has no constitutional rights to suspend him. If not for illustrations motive, why hasten to suspend him.

      • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

        No, Bruv.

        The NHIS falls squarely as an extra-Ministerial department under the Ministry of Health. Allowing those reasons to stand, places them on the same level as Ministers.

        For instance, it would place Magu on a level above the IGP. Would that be right?

  • Bully-hong-ho

    @wilfredbankoleademokun:disqus

    Usman Yusuf is a dunce and an ignoramus

    BUHARI’s addle-headed appointee, Usman Yusuf is a dunce and an ignoramus
    who’s decidedly delusive and inadequately educated to assert in public that there
    must be a prima facie case against him before he could be suspended from the
    public service; and that only he; as Usman Yusuf, an appointee, can decide if a
    strong prima facie case exists, before he’ll comply with Ministerial instruction to
    proceed on suspension. In other words, Usman Yusuf asserts a self-given right
    to decide his own case by himself in supercilious ignorance.

    For all that Usman Yusuf is perhaps
    worse than a dunce. His appointment as NHIS Secretary illustrates the problem
    with Buhari’s judgment call. Any pedestrian northerner who is also a Muslim is
    deemed qualified for public office in Buhari’s un-educated eyes. With such tribal
    mindset it is no surprise that Muhamadu Buhari has fumbled and wobbled on the
    job as the worst president Nigeria has ever had.

    Within 12 months
    in office Buhari worsened and messed up Nigeria so badly that the country’s
    economy shrank in the year 2016 for the first time in 25 years. Today, in effect
    of ongoing economic recession solely stoked by Buhari’s economics ignorance,
    there are now 28 million un-employed youths in Nigeria, according to the latest
    figures from the National Bureau of Statistics. A huge tragedy befell Nigeria with
    Muhamadu Buhari’s election. Those who voted him in caused a decline and fall
    of Nigeria.

    • Nasiru Sani

      You should be ashamed of yourself because all this you were saying is nothing but tribal and religious bigotry.

      • Netanyahu

        Is mumuhari not a colossal failure, you that is not a religious and tribal bigot. Una mumu don do.

  • Adam Noma

    Why is it that whenever a public official tries to uncover and/or stop cancerous corruption bedevilling the country the next thing you heard is his suspension and/or removal from office.

  • Mani_Kay

    NEVER ALLOWED ….. BORN-TO-SERVE …. CANNOT SUSPEND …… BORN-TO-RULE

    When has it become that a Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani will accept a suspension order from a Southern Christian infidel?

    Is Health Minister Isaac Adewole too young to remember what happened to Alabo Graham Douglas when he was IBB’S Minister for Aviation (1990 – 1992). ……. how that Alabo Graham-Douglas’s suspension of some Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani boys in Nigeria Airways was openly disobeyed by the Hausa-Fulani boys …. and eventually IBB sacked Alabo Graham-Douglas as Minister of Aviation for having the boldness to issue query to some Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani people in Nigeria Airways.

    Of course we all remember that the Hausa-Fulani boys never replied the query that was issued to them rather they made public mockery of the query and nothing came out of it except that the Hausa-Fulani boys continued on their jobs at Nigeria Airways while Alabo Graham-Douglas was disgracefully sacked from his Ministerial position.

    • Senator D

      Nigerians like to pretend to forget easily and lie to themselves. Have they forgotten Sanusi’s challenge to his boss Jonathan? That one is recent and NOT long ago…

  • Senator D

    @Usman Yusuf how much of the law do you understand? You look a minister chosen and sworn-in by the President, as his representative, and tell him you won’t obey him? Like a Son telling his mum I won’t obey you because Dad is the one that said I should watch TV therefore ONLY Dad can tell me NOT to watch TV…Are you kidding me??? That Son must be old enough to find a new home and pay his bills… What effrontery…Nit wit like you…

    • Richard

      Yes Yoruba’s are Fulani slave

      • Senator D

        Really??? Are you out of your mind???

  • George

    Boko Haram family Yusuf the senior brother of founder of Boko Haram was appointed into government body with no reason and here is the result.

    APC promoted SANUSI the under age Emir fucker to insult GEj AND today another Aboki from the North is insult Tinubu and Osinbaju brother because the Northerners is higher than the Southerners no matter the office you hold.

    One Nigeria according to Yoruba so lets go on as if nothing is wrong.

  • George

    Who is now in-charge of this mumuhari government?

    Where is that Yoruba Tokenism liar called Osinbaju man?

    Who will save Nigeria and when will Yoruba wake up before they are swept into Lagoon forever?

    Has Falana Femi dead?

    Where is that he-goat headed Wole Shoyinka the son of a birds hunter?

    Where is the shameless OBJ who slept with his son’s wife?

    Has cat cut off Tunde Bakare the fake nonentity pastor?

    And is AMbaka dead?

  • Richard

    Apc government in a very serious confusion .fela said confusion break bone

  • Julius

    To the biafrauds it does. What else do they have going for them ? Kanu their emperor is at least a little bit quiet now.

  • dah

    You blow a whistle , you proceed on 3 month suspension. That’s nigeria.