About six months after he was controversially sacked as Executive Secretary of Nigeria’s Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Usman Yusuf used expletives to respond to a fresh indictment of fraudulent activities against the scheme during his stay in office.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the recently released Annual Audit from the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation (OAGF) indicted the staff and management of NHIS of squandering over N6.8 billion in illegal allowances, between 2016 and 2017.
Mr Yusuf was appointed in July 2016 and was sacked in June last year by President Muhammadu Buhari, after a probe panel indicted him of fraud and gross misconduct.
When reached by phone on Monday evening for his reaction on the 2017 audit report, which is the latest from the OAGF, Mr Yusuf launched into a stream of expletives.
“F**k PREMIUM TIMES. F**k the Auditor General,” he said, urging the reporter to “go ahead and write that.”
Not A First Timer
It would not be the first time, Mr Yusuf, who is allegedly reputed for disrespecting laid rules and constituted authorities, would use inappropriate languages while responding to an official enquiry.
A professor of Haematology-Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant, Mr Yusuf’s three-year stint at the NHIS was characterized by crisis as he allegedly flouted laws, broke protocols and financial regulations.
Accused of insubordination and continuous infighting with staff and management of the scheme, the controversial official was sent on suspension twice within a year.
The first was in July 2017 when the then Health Minister, Isaac Adewole, sent the official on an indefinite suspension over alleged gross misconduct and fraud.
He defied the minister, by refusing to comply.
When questioned by a Punch Newspaper reporter over the matter, he responded with “f**k you and f**k the minister.”
The governing board of the scheme handed him another indefinite suspension in October 2018, over similar allegations. Rather than obey, Mr Yusuf stormed the NHIS head office with a contingent of about 50 police officers, broke a barricade mounted by angry workers and forced his way into his office.
Activities remained grounded at the agency, with workers and management pitted against each other until Mr Buhari sent the controversial official on leave and eventually dismissed him last June.
The 2017 Audit report also exhumed a welter of financial misconduct, which has added a new layer to the barrage of fraudulent activities that tainted the leadership of Mr Yusuf.