Vanguard Newspaper 10 january 2018
4— VANGUARD, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 10 , 2018 We will contest Yusuf’s reinstatement in court —HMCAN By Sola Ogundipe & Chioma Obinna THE Health & Managed Care Association of Nigeria, HMCAN, has threatened to challenge the reinstatement of Professor Usman Yusuf as the Executive Director of the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS. Chairman of the Association that is the umbrella body for Health Maintenance Organisations, HMOs, in Nigeria, Dr. Tunde Ladele, disclosed this yesterday during a press briefing, saying Yusuf’s appointment caused distortions in the operations of the Agency. Ladele recalled that HMCAN had earlier gone to court to challenge distortions and irregularities in its operations with the NHIS following appointment of the Executive Secretary, among other issues. “We will contest the recall in court. There is a case already on. The reason we went to court was the distortion of the process and then the libelous statements and the manner of appointment. According to Ladele: “News of the lifting of the suspension of Dr. Usman Yusuf as the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme reached the Association by way of the social media and print and electronic news organisations on Tuesday 6th February, 2018. “Yusuf was suspended in July 2017 by the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole for three months to allow for an administrative, investigative committee to look into the various allegations, including those of monumental fraud, gross abuse of office and nepotism inimical to the NHIS. Subsequently, the Minister of Health extended the suspension of the Executive Secretary indefinitely.” Further, he said: “It was reported that the Ministerial committee set up by the Minister of Health had found that the sum of N919 million had been dubiously given to consultants for staff training and recommended that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, probe the Agency for diversion of funds and contravention of the Procurement Act. “HMCAN notes the assurances of government that investigations of allegations are ongoing. Whilst noting the gravity of the allegations, HMCAN is mindful of the dictum that an accused person is innocent till proven guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction. “We advise that in the spirit of transparency, accountability and the stance of government on anticorruption, the report and investigation should not be swept under the carpet. Doing this will erode public confidence and cast doubt on the sincerity of government. According to Ladele: “In the last year during his tenure, there have been disruptions and nothing has been done in terms of adding more lives to the Scheme, however, since he was suspended, we have gradually normalised activities. “In his absence the providers have been taken care of and everything had been going seamlessly. “We believe in the Nigerian project and we on our part will continue to invest our best efforts in ensuring the highest quality of care at the most equitable cost for millions of our enrollees nationwide. Ultimately this is the mandate of our members and indeed of the NHIS.” HCPAN, NMA react In his own reaction, the Deputy National President of the Healthcare Providers Association of Nigeria, HCPAN, Dr. Adeyeye Arigbabuwo, was none committal. “Our position is that Nigeria is dynamic. And Nigeria is a controversial country. So controversy continues until we get to our destination.” Asked if the reinstatement was healthy for the nation’s health sector he said: “I would not say yes or no but what I want to let you know is that as I am talking to you now, I am not sure of my health, and you are not sure of your health. Only God is sure of our health. So it is difficult for me to judge anybody.” President of the Nigeria Medical Association, Professor Mike Ogirima on his own part said it was essential to have a functional and mandatory health insurance system. “We are professionals and all we are after is a mandatory National Health Insurance Scheme, that can give us Universal Health Coverage. “ We don’t care whoever is there, as long as we can get these two things so that Nigerians can enjoy the benefit of the Scheme. “We need a mandatory NHIS not this one that is voluntary that is causing controversial.” AXA Mansard Promotes Valentine with Show of Love A XA Mansard – a member of the AXA Group, the global leader in insurance and asset management, is set to put a smile on the faces of couples this Valentine’s Day by introducing its #ShootYourShot Valentine campaign on its various social media platforms. The social media campaign is designed to connect with social media users by encouraging them to boldly explore their creative side in a show of love. From February 8 to February 12, 2018, social media users can participate in the campaign by simply posting a one-minute video of themselves ‘shooting their shot’ (a trend on social media which means making a romantic move towards a loved one) in creative and interesting ways on various social media platforms including Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
Ozubulu killings: Tension in court as witness narrates how he was invited to take part in the attack By Vincent Ujumadu and Chima Nwaiwu THERE was tension at the Nnewi High Court premises yesterday during the arraignment of four suspects over the shooting at St Philips Catholic Church, Ozubulu in which 13 persons lost their lives on August 6, 2017, with a star witness, Mr. Chukwujekwu Eze narrating how one of the suspects invited him to participate in the attack against Chief Aloysius Ikegwuonu, popularly called Bishop over alleged unpaid debt. The suspects— Great Chinedu Akpunonu, 44; Vincent Ike, 57; Chukwudi Ugwu, 30, and Onyebuchi Mbanefo, 46— were arraigned on a 24-count charge in Suit No: HN/36C/ 2017 bordering on conspiracy and murder. Others allegedly involved in the shooting were still at large. The court premises was filled to capacity and Saturday Vanguard discovered that most of the people who came to witness the court proceedings were Ozubulu indigenes based in South Africa. There was near commotion as security operatives tried to stop people from taking photographs of the suspects after the court session. Apparently due to the tension in court, the presiding judge, Justice F.I. Aniukwu ordered that nobody should be allowed to stand in and outside the court from the next adjourned date, while nobody should be allowed to enter the court with a telephone. Eze, the second witness, who hailed from Ugbawka in Enugu State, told the court that he lived in South Africa for 11 years before he was deported, adding that he had remained unemployed since his deportation. Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Mr. Jay Jay Ezeuko, SAN, Eze said: “There is a boy named Okpanda who told me that they were going to the Bishop’s place at Ozubulu to execute a job. I asked him the nature of the job and he told me that they were going because Bishop was owing some people some money in South Africa. He said they wanted to go and destroy everything in Vice President Yemi Osinbajo flanked by the Chairman, Presidential Investigative Panel to Review Compliance of the Armed Forces with Human Rights Obligations and rules of engagement, Hon. Justice Biobele Georgewile and the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonishakin (r) while other committee members, Maj. Gen. Pat Akem (l) and Mr. Wale Fapounda joined after the submission of the final reports of the panel at a brief ceremony at the State House, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida Bishop’s house and shoot at every living thing. “I asked him who was sponsoring the job and he told me it was Obrocho. When I mentioned it to Okpanda, he said he would assist me if I would agree to follow in the hit job at Bishop’s place. I told him I would not be involved because I won’t want to shed any blood. “Okpanda invited me so he could explain the whole thing to me and when I went the following day, he told me it was only if I took part in the job that he would help me to go back to South Africa. It was in Okpanda’s place that I met Dobby (Onyemaechi Mbanefo), the 4th accused and two of them tried to convince me to join in the job. I refused to join. “After the shooting in the church, I saw Okpanda again and he told me that they had done the job and when I asked if he could help me since they had made the money, he told me he couldn’t help me since I refused to join in the job. “I then told him I was going to approach Bishop since I didn’t have any other person to help me. He told me not to go to Bishop because the Bishop would arrest me. “I later decided to approach Bishop because of the level of massacre in the church in which the Bishop’s father was among those killed.” Dickson backs calls for establishment of state police By Samuel Oyadongha, Yenagoa BAYELSA State Gover nor, Hon Seriake Dickson, has backed the decision of the Federal Government to establish state police in Nigeria. Dickson said that the prevailing security situation and the need for an effective response to the current crime challenges have made it mandatory for the establishment of state police in the society. The governor’s comments follow the declaration by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, that it had become difficult for the Federal Government to provide security for the country from Abuja in view of the fact that Nigeria had failed to meet the United Nation’s requirement of a policeman to 400 people. According to him, removing the police from the exclusive list and putting its operations under a more effective arrangement at the level of the state would put a stop to the widespread killings and crimes in the country. Dickson in a statement explained that state police would be effective as the personnel would be drawn from the various states and would easily access valuable information required to track crime and criminals. The governor added that the current federally controlled police had become overstretched due to wide ratio of the police to the rapid increase in population. He said, “It has become very clear that the decision of the Federal Government to establish state police should be supported. I am of the view that the decision can only tame the growing scourge of crime and criminality in our communities. “The advantages of having the police at the state level are many. These people will come from the state and I am of the view that their capacity to access the requisite intelligence to fight crime will be stronger. “So the time to establish state police, as recommended in the report of the 2014 Constitutional Conference and the recent report of the All Progressives Congress, is now.” SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 10, 2018 — 5 Saudi Arabia executes another Nigerian for drug trafficking By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor APPARENTLY taking advantage of the delay by Nige ria to intervene in the alleged drug deals undertaken by Nigerians in the country, Saudi Arabia has executed another Nigerian for drug-related offences. Impeccable sources confirmed to Saturday Vanguard that the suspect, whose name was given as Adam Idris Abubakar, was killed by the authorities on Tuesday, bringing the number of Nigerian drug detainees so far executed in the last four months to four. Two of the suspects were killed last November. A source close to the suspects told Saturday Vanguard that the Nigerian Embassy in Riyadh had been informed of the latest execution and that the embassy was embarrassed by the action of the Middle-East country, having begun discussions with them to spare the lives of the suspects. The killing of Abubakar has reduced the number of Nigerian drug suspects to 13 out of the 15, who are being detained in Madinah Prison in Saudi Arabia. Last year, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, gave the assurance that the Nigerian Government had begun discussions with the foreign country to save the lives of the embattled Nigerians. Last week, Onyeama said, “We have made very strong intercessions with the government of those countries to review the cases and of course, not to execute those prisoners. But there is a limit, these are sovereign countries and they have processes and laws. Buhari approves retirement of Justice Ademola, dismissal of Tokode P RESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari yesterday approved the compulsory retirement of Justice Adeniyi Ademola, and the dismissal of Justice O.O Tokode. Ademola was of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, while Tokode was of Benin Division of the same court. This was contained in a statement issued in Abuja by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu. Shehu said that the president’s approval followed recommendations from the National Judicial Council (NJC). “The disciplinary actions on the two Justices are in pursuance of Section 292 (1) (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). “Justice O. O. Tokode is also to refund all salaries and allowances earned illegally from Dec. 2, 2015 when he was sworn-in as a Judge of the Federal High Court to date,” Shehu said. National carrier will be realised within first term of this administration — Sirika By Lawani Mikairu MINISTER of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has said the federal government will establish the national carrier before the expiration of this tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government. Sirika disclosed this while addressing aviation reporters at the Muritala Muhammed Airport, Lagos. According to the minister, the business outline will be ready in a couple of months. He said :“ I think in the next couple of months, by March we should be able to have our outline business base for this transaction. I will say that we are very close to having the national carrier established. Certainly it would be within the first term of this administration”. On the pensioners of Nigeria Airways, Sirika appealed to the ex-workers to exercise patience as the federal government has made provision for their payment. He said :“We’ve dealt with the issue of pensioners. The money is being provided by government, the Ministry of Finance is handling it and the National Assembly is also playing its roles”. Court issues bench warrant against Innoson motors boss By Abdulwahab Abdulah AN Ikeja High Court yesterday issued a bench warrant against the Chairman of Innoson Motors Nigeria Limited, Innocent Chukwuma. In a ruling by Justice Mojisola Dada, the court ordered that Chukwuma be produced in court at the next adjournment for probable arraignment over alleged forgery. The decision of the court was due to his failure to appear before the court again for arraignment over the criminal matter lodged against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Giving the order, Justice Dada held that, “a bench warrant is hereby served on Innocent Chukwuma, he will remain in custody till the next adjourned date. The case is adjourned till March 14 for possible arraignment”. Earlier during proceedings a mild drama ensued in the courtroom with Justice Dada threatening to charge Prof. J. N Mbadugha, the defence counsel for Innoson and Innoson Motors Ltd for contempt of court.