Itse Sagay, SAN, Chairman, presidential advisory committee against corruption, has condemned the national assembly for demanding the reinstatement of Usman Yusuf, suspended executive secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
He said some of the lawmakers’ actions show “a disease is plaguing” both chambers.
Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, had suspended Yusuf following allegations of corruption levelled against him.
Adewole has also suspended more NHIS top shots.
Reacting to the lawmakers’ directive to Adewole, Sagay warned them to stop interfering in the job of the executive.
“Whatever the case may be, the house certainly has no role in the internal investigation set up by a ministry,” he said.
“This is the disease plaguing the national assembly which thinks it is the executive arm of government.
“That pronouncement of the house giving the minister seven days to reinstate the NHIS boss is null and void
“If they cannot concentrate on their job and want to do the job of the executive, we are going to have a big problem on our hands. We will have chaos and confusion.
“So, that directive is null and void. It is outside of their jurisdiction. They were elected primarily to make laws.”
Sagay also dismissed Yusuf’s claim that the minister has no powers to suspend him.
“I believe the minister has the power to suspend the head of an agency. It is probably in the rules guiding the civil service.
“I know that the minister is the chief executive officer of the ministry and so he can suspend but of course he cannot suspend indefinitely,” he added.
“And, of course, there has to be a proper inquiry that would be set up to establish his guilt or innocence and the person must be present to defend himself.
“The suspension is to enable the accused person to clear himself and to give room for proper investigation and the power to suspend lies in the CEO of the ministry.”