The Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Usman Yusuf, who was suspended indefinitely by the governing council of the NHIS on Thursday, resumed work on Friday, ignoring the resolution of the council.
The Punch learnt that Yusuf resumed at the head office of the agency in Abuja around 10 am to the surprise of members of staff.
In a memo with reference number NHIS/ES/091/1/192, signed by Yusuf and addressed to the chairman of the council, Dr Enyantu Ifenne, the Executive Secretary said only President Muhammadu Buhari could suspend him.
He said the council only had the powers to manage the scheme and other related activities, adding that he had not even been informed of the petitions written against him.
Yusuf said: “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.
“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, the chairman of the NHIS board, Dr Enyantu Ifenne, acknowledged receipt of the memo on Friday.
Dr Ifenne, however, expressed shock over Yusuf’s decision to defy the council.
“Let those who hide under the cover of the Presidency to protect corruption know that Nigerians are keenly watching. I am convinced that if President Buhari is fully briefed about a tenth of Yusuf’s atrocities, he will throw him out,” she said.