Health minister denies N1.3b NHIS fraud allegations, as whistle blowing journalist goes hiding


NAOMPON|5 June 2017 
Nigeria's minister of health, Prof. Isaac Adewale has denied allegations fingering him of siphoning N1.3b belonging to the country's National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) for personal use.
Concerned Enrollees Network, a body whistle blowing against corruption had on a petition with evidences acknowledged to have been received by EFCC and ICPC on the 16 of May alleged the Minister of Health to have siphoned a whooping N1.3b for shady use including making personal purchases of two Range Rover cars, buying of a personal home in Abuja, among other things. 
But the minister through a telephone conversation with our correspondent  has denied despite documents clearly nailing him about the fraud. 
According to Adewale, the allegations on vehicle and House purchase were not backed by documents while payment to HMOs were done before his appointment as Minister.
In his words, "The allegations of Vehicle and House purchase were not backed by documents."
"That of payment of 10million was not supported by documents."
"The payment to HMOs were before my appointmemt as Minister," Adewale added. 
Meanwhile Obaji Akpet, the international journalist that broke the news is currently under hiding fearing for his life. 
The minister said he hired internet experts to help him establish the identity and location of the journalist, and through the help of Prof. Ben Ayade, the governor of Cross River got his contact. 
Cross River commissioner of health, Dr. Inyang Asibong also was said to have led a negotiation for Mr. Akpet to compromise with the minister on ways forward to quench the smoke the report was already generating.
Although yet unconfirmed, it was learnt that the household of ASO Rock had called the minister to the caution of going to cleaning his mess on-time as anything seen as capable of ruining the Buhari led administration or his public corruption war would not be taken for granted. 
Hence,  the minister through a lady,  who claimed to be Mrs. Oluwatooni Akinola, his information officer via 08033195737 called to get soft landing with the journalist. 
But when it was obvious Akpet would not bulge his back the minister threatened saying:
"You're being a journalist abi, are you telling me that you're prepared for whatever comes."
"I'm calling you now 'cause we're in the same profession and I know other people that have gotten into such troubles and that's why I'm calling you is aware."
NAOMPON is Niger Delta Association of Online Media Practitioners of Nigeria