Ex-NHIS boss fights suspension, says agency council lacks power for action

The suspended Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Professor Usman Yusuf, has faulted his suspension by the Governing Council of the scheme.

In a letter dated October 19 and addressed to the Council Chairman, Mrs Eyantu Efene, Professor Yusuf argued that the Council lacked the powers to make such a decision.

According to him, the NHIS Act only empowers the Council to appoint directors and other employees of the scheme.

“As you are aware, by virtue of section 8 of the NHIS Act, my appointment, like yours, is at the instance of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces while the Council’s power of appointment is limited to directors and other employees of the scheme,” Professor Yusuf said.

“It is, therefore, clearly ultra vires for the Council to suspend or purport to suspend me from office to the extent that the said suspension is the prerogative of Mr President”.

Yusuf’s reaction comes one day after he was handed an indefinite suspension by the NHIS Governing Council.

Mrs Efene had disclosed this to reporters after a meeting which lasted for about three hours with relevant stakeholders in Abuja.

She added that the Council had instructed Mr Sadique Abubakar to immediately take over as the acting Executive Secretary of the scheme.

Professor Yusuf’s suspension followed allegations of attempts to illegally execute a N30billion investment in Federal Government bonds, as well as insubordination among others.

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