NHIS: Yusuf speaks on dragging presidency to court

National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Executive Secretary, Professor Usman Yusuf on Thursday denied suing President Muhammadu Buhari and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha over his “suspension”.

He said this in a statement issued by his lawyer, Uche Val Obi (SAN) to journalists in Abuja.

According to the statement, Yusuf said he had accepted the directive to proceed on leave of absence from Monday and remained loyal to the President.

Obi clarified that his client only went to court to seek interpretation of the NHIS Governing Council’s powers to suspend him two days before he got the letter asking him to proceed on leave of absence.

He said Yusuf has decided to suspend the legal proceedings and not to interfere with the Independent fact-finding panel set up by the Presidency.

Obi said the news that he took the Presidency to court over his purported suspension by the NHIS Governing Board was fake.

The statement explained that Yusuf approached the Federal High Court through an originating summons filed on October 29, with NHIS, Minister of Health, and the Attorney-General as defendants.

It said Yusuf sought judicial interpretation and determination of questions on the propriety or otherwise of the Governing Council’s action in suspending him without Presidential approval or following due process of law.

Obi said Yusuf also sought consequential order setting aside his suspension by the Council, including its appointment of a General Manager to act in his place during the period of the purported indefinite suspension.

Obi said the suit was served on the defendants on October 30.

The SAN said Yusuf received the letter from the office of the SGF on October 31 at 4.30 pm from the Minister of Health directing him to proceed on administrative leave on the President’s approval.

“Having received the Presidential directives as conveyed in the SGF’s letter aforesaid, our client hereby confirms that he welcomes the Presidential intervention and remains obligated to fully and strictly comply with the directives.

“He will accordingly be proceeding on administrative leave with effect from Monday, 5th November 2018 so as to give room to the Independent Fact-Finding Panel set up by the Federal Government to carry out its important task of investigating the allegations of infractions leveled against him by the Governing Council of the Scheme.

“Similarly, our client wishes to pledge his continued loyalty to Mr. President and to fully cooperate with the incoming Overseeing Director, Mr. Ben Omogo, with whom him he has already met, and the Independent Fact-Finding Panel set up by the Presidency to deal with the matter.

“In view of this development, to ensure that there is no interference with the work and finding of the Panel and as instructed by our client, we shall be taking prompt steps to suspend the pending legal proceedings aforesaid,” Obi said.

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