Razaq Omomeji, chairman of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) chapter of Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, says Usman Yusuf, suspended executive secretary of NHIS, will meet his water loo if he steps into office on Monday.
Enantu Ifenna, chairman, NHIS governing board, announced Yusuf’s suspension on Thursday.
The ES was suspended indefinitely over allegations of financial infractions.
However, Yusuf was said to have reported to the office of the agency in Abuja on Friday, ignoring his suspension.
In a memo he sent to Ifenna, Yusuf said only President Muhammadu Buhari reserves the power to suspend him.
“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.
“It is, therefore, ultra vires or the council to suspend or purport to suspend me from office to the extent that the said suspension is the prerogative of Mr President.”
Reacting to Yusuf’s non-compliance with the suspension, Omomeji told TheCable that the suspended ES misinterpreted the act he cited.
Omomeji explained that that the governing board suspended Yusuf, not sack him.
He said by suspending Yusuf, the board lived up to its role as an ambassador of the anti-corruption crusade of the president.
“The council has the power to suspend him and he remains suspended. Not only on suspension, he is to face a panel,” he said.
“They are both appointees of the president. Should there be any infraction among them, the council can resolve to put them on suspension.
“They are not sacking him. There are allegations of corruption against him. The panel has decided that he has to face it. So, he can be placed on suspension while the investigation is going on to ascertain the allegations against him.
“Among the reasons he was found wanting is an image capturing machine which the highest amount you can get it in this country is between 400 and 450 thousand naira, he quoted it as N7.5 million to the council.
“If the council had not been careful and had blindly approved it for him, they would say the council connived with him to steal our money. And this is the man going all around saying he is fighting corruption and corruption is fighting back. Who is fighting corruption, who is the corruption per se?
“The question is, corruption is what this government is fighting, right? The president cannot be everywhere so in our own capacity, anywhere we are, we are his ambassadors and we have to expose any act of corruption, no matter whose ox is gorged.
“He has been suspended. If he comes near the office, he will meet his water loo, let him accept it.”