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Alleged Gross Misconduct: Association renews demand for suspension of NHIS boss

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The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria has called for the immediate suspension of Prof. Usman Yusuf, the Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme by the Federal Government over allegations of gross misconduct.

Isaac Ojemhenke, Head of Abuja Secretariat of the association, made the appeal while addressing newsmen in Abuja on Monday.

Ojemhenke noted that since the recall of the NHIS scribe on Feb. 6 he had embarked on activities capable of jeopardising industrial peace and harmony in the scheme.

This, he said, had caused division among members of staff along ethnic, tribal and religious lines.
Ojemhenke said that the aborted illegal secondment done by Yusuf, in November 2016 revealed that he brought his nephew, Hassan Kabir Yar’Adua, and posted him to Procurement Department.

He alleged that the appointment was to pave way for a possible arbitrary evaluation and consideration of his father’s company, Lubekh Nigeria Limited, for consultancy in NHIS at a contract sum of N46,798,512.

He said: “Prof. Yusuf engaged in corrupt nepotism in November 2016 by fraudulently awarding contract to Lubekh Nigeria Limited for training of NHIS staff on capacity building at N17,500,000 in Benin, Edo.

“This is gross abuse of office, official trust and evident violation of Section 57(12) (b) of the Public Procurement Act 2007.

“On March 5, Yusuf also engaged in a clandestine attempt to move the sum of N25 billion of enrollees fund for investment before the inauguration of the NHIS governing council, but failed.

“He further moved to get an approval for a dubious investment of another N30,000,000,000, without strict compliance to due process as directed by the governing council.

“The council having discovered such gross misconduct by the Executive Secretary, issued him a query, which up to date he has refused to answer.’’

Besides, the union leader alleged that Yusuf diverted some NHIS property under the guise of setting up `Home Office’ before his suspension in August 2016, which was strange to public service rules and abuse of office.

He added that on Yusuf’s recall from suspension, ‘the scribe paid himself N3.6 million allegedly used by him to fuel seven vehicles attached to himself and as reimbursement for purchase of newspapers when he was on suspension.

Ojemhenke further alleged that the NHIS boss refused to refund the sum of N4.3 million which he advanced to himself for a trip to Netherlands, which the Minister of Health never approved in 2017.

He said: “The scheme has also been directed to recover the sum of N14,158, 000 paid to Yusuf and four others for the Netherlands trip and on resumption of office chose to disregard the directives.

“An allocation of seven official vehicles to himself and payment of monthly allowance of N500,000 for fuelling with seven policemen attached to him with monthly expense of N565,000.

“All attempts by the council to make him tow the line of financial discipline and prudency in the face of dwindling resources of the scheme has been resisted by Yusuf.
“The Association is demanding that the government should do the needful as regards the case of Prof. Yusuf, he needs to be asked to step down to serve as a deterrent to others.’’

Ojemhenke added that such action was necessary in respect of the anti-corruption war of the present administration.

Reacting to the allegations on phone, Yusuf dismissed them as spurious, laughable and unserious.
The executive secretary told the News Agency of Nigeria that the workers were merely kicking against a minor redeployment he effected last week.

According to him, the transfers were intended to rejig the scheme and not as a punitive measure.
He said: “How can an individual perpetrate all these 12 allegations running into several billions of naira within a short span of time without insiders’ knowledge or collaboration?’’

He challenged the workers to substantiate their allegations and advised all those fighting against the ongoing positive changes to have a rethink in the interest of enrollees and the country.

Yusuf declined further comments, saying “I am yet to see a copy of their press conference’’.
NAN recalls that Yusuf was earlier suspended from office by the Minister of Health, Prof. Adewole Isaac, over allegations of maladministration and insubordination.

But Yusuf dismissed the allegations, explaining that it is corruption that is fighting back.

According to him, serious are measures needed to weed the scheme of fraud for effective and efficient service delivery.

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PSC asks Nigerians to disregard candidates’ list for police recruitment

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The Police Service Commission (PSC) has advised the public to disregard a list of candidates scheduled for training and allegedly released by the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) for recruitment into the Constable cadre.

A statement in Abuja by the commission’s Head of Press and Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani, said the release of the list by the police was an act of illegality and a breach of the Federal Character requirements.

The statement reads: “The Police Service Commission dissociates itself from a purported list of candidates scheduled for training and allegedly released by the NPF in respect of the recruitment exercise into the Constable cadre of the Force. The commission notes that the list released by the police is an act of illegality, and from close observation, was in serious breach of the Federal Character requirements.

“The commission urges the public to be wary of the list as it will soon resume the remaining stages of the recruitment process and release the authentic list of successful candidates, local government by local government.

“The commission is presently in court against the NPF over the hijack of its constitutional powers to recruit and had filed an originating summons and interlocutory injunction restraining the NPF from going ahead with the exercise.

“The processes filed since September 27, 2019, by Kanu G. Agabi, CON, SAN, were brought to the knowledge of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) the same day…”

“In the letter notifying the IGP of the pendency of the suit, Kanu Agabi had said: “We write to inform you of the pendency of the above mentioned suit before the Federal High Court, Abuja. By this notice, you are to stay further action in the subject matter of this suit, pending the hearing and determination of the case.

“It is unfortunate that despite the pendency of the court processes, the NPF went ahead to release a purported list of candidates it has invited for training.

“The commission wishes to state that the list is unknown to it as it believes it is a product of illegality. The hearing for the commission’s suit has been scheduled for Wednesday, October 23 at the Federal High Court 5, Abuja.”

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Cracks in Labour unions over minimum wage strike

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Joe Ajaero, ULC President: planned strike on minimum wage dead on arrival

There is a crack in the ranks of labour union leaders as the date for their planned strike over the Federal Government implementation of the minimum wage looms.

The president of United Labour Congress, ULC, Mr Joe Ajaero, said the group will not be part of an exercise designed to hoodwink Nigerian workers and masses into believing that their interests are being championed.

It is the hardest knock, so far for the leaders of TUC and NLC who have been threatening a national strike over the minimum wage.

Ajaero made his view known in an interview with newsmen during the ongoing negotiations on minimum wage with the Federal Government representatives and organised labour on Tuesday in Abuja.

According to him, the proposed strike by labour is dead on arrival as programmed by the hidden interests of those pushing the agenda.

“Unfortunately, this strike will not have the desired impact and would not achieve the intentions Nigerian workers would want as it is seemingly; dead on arrival as programmed by the hidden interests of those pushing the agenda.

“ULC will not, therefore, be part of an exercise designed to hoodwink Nigerian workers and masses into believing that their interests were being championed while the contrary may be the case.

“We will neither be part of this ruse nor partake in a complete jamboree that makes a mockery of the genuine struggle by Nigerian workers to begin to enjoy the new national minimum wage.

“Once again, we want to state that we will not be part of this attempt to whittle down the capacity of Nigerian workers and masses to earn the new minimum wage.

“It is a planned sabotage of our collective will and desire to see a new minimum wage and we shall not be part of it,” Ajaero said.

Meanwhile, the meeting between the organised labour and representatives of the Federal Government has been moved till Wednesday, Oct. 16, to allow for sorting out of all grey areas of contention, with both groups shifting grounds.

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Presidency reacts to Buhari marrying second wife

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Social media reports had claimed that  Buhari would get married on Friday to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq.

Adesina stressed that the rumour was a deceptive manoeuvre by those who fabricated the news, noting that the news was far from the truth.

Buhari on Friday observed the weekly two raka’at jumaat prayer at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Among those that joined him at the jumaat prayer were presidential aides, some cabinet ministers and former governor of Zamfara, Abdulaziz Yari as well as Senator Kabir Gaya.

The jumaat prayer however witnessed unprecedented number of faithful.

They seemed to have stormed the Villa mosque to confirm the authenticity or otherwise of the social media reports claiming that President Buhari would have wedding fatiha for a second wife.

SOURCE: THE NATION

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