The Human and Environmental Development Agenda Resource Centre has urged the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to investigate, arrest and prosecute the embattled Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Usman Yusuf, over the forceful entrance into the scheme’s head office in Abuja on October 22, 2018 with the aid of security operatives.
In a petition signed by HEDA’s Chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, the Resource Centre said the situation is one that can cause chaos and a breakdown of law and order in the scheme’s office and as such requires the arrest of anyone found wanting or trying to jeopardize the security of the institution.
The petition reads: “We hereby write to request for the investigation, arrest and prosecution of the suspended Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and officers of the force for the forceful entrance into the scheme’s head office in Abuja on the 22nd October, 2018 with the aid of security operatives.
“According to reports from PremiumTimes Online Newspaper dated the 22nd October, 2018 the suspended Executive Secretary; Mr. Yusuf in a flagrant display of high handedness and disregard for official protocols, used unknown police officers in his entourage to overpower workers, staff, union and security officials at the head office while trying to gain access in spite of his suspension by the governing council of the scheme, who had set up a panel to probe allegations of fraud and infractions against the Executive Secretary. There are also allegations of the use of tear gas on workers by these officers of the police force.
“The Force Public Relation Officer subsequently dissociated the force from that action and those officers involved in the illegal act of brigandage and harassment of public officers on official duty at the NHIS head office. Mr. Yusuf refused to adhere to the suspension order of the council and forcefully gained access to his office while being guarded by police officers.
“It is worth noting that Mr. Yusuf was previously suspended by the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, in July 2017 over alleged gross misconduct and fraud but was in February controversially reinstated by President Muhammadu Buhari. This was before his second suspension by the Governing Council over similar allegations of fraud and infractions.
“The above is quite devastating and alarming as it suggests that an individual can make attempts to sabotage an entire system with the cooperation of the police as against the existing structure of an agency of the federal government.
“This situation is one that can cause chaos and a breakdown of law and order in the scheme’s office and as such requires the arrest of anyone found wanting or trying to jeopardize the security of the institution.”