The Reign of Kwaku Afrifa Yamoah Ponkoh as the Ashanti regional manager of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) appears to have come to an end, as information reaching DAILY GUIDE indicates the embattled NHIS boss has been flushed out.
Yamoah Ponkoh, a dyed-in-the-wool National Democratic Congress (NDC) functionary, was rewarded with the position for his efforts to bring the party to power after he failed to clinch the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly chief executive position.
However, he had been on compulsory leave since he was indicted for serious offensive conduct of alleged fraud and extortion of money.
DAILY GUIDE gathered that the Chief Executive of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Sylvester Mensah, wrote a letter asking the former Kumasi Asante Kotoko football club Director of Operations to proceed on an indefinite leave effective January 5, 2011, following the allegations of fraud against him.
Yamoah Ponkoh clandestinely tasked district managers of the NHIS to extort money from service providers to give to the CEO and directors of NHIA as Christmas gifts.
“The year 2010 saw a much better improvement in our deliberations, especially in the area of claims administration and payment.
“I think as the head of operations of the Authority in the region, it is only proper for me together with you to support and appreciate the good works of the Authority by at least giving out something small to honour major players at the Authority especially the Chief Executive Officer and his entire Directors.
“In this regard, Scheme Managers are to liaise with their various service providers (those willing) to express their appreciation with a token for onward transmission to the Chief Executive Officer and his entire Directors”, Yamoah Ponkoh wrote in an e-mail to all district heads of NHIS on December 20, 2010.
Based on this unacceptable conduct, he was asked to withdraw the letter from the scheme managers immediately, and subsequently proceed on an indefinite leave.
In his stead, the regional accountant, Nurudeen Bawa had since been in charge of activities in the office till the final determination of the fate of the one-time director of communication of Reformed Patriotic Democrats (RPD), a Kumasi-based political party.
DAILY GUIDE learnt that Mr. Ponkoh took the decision to task scheme managers to make monetary contributions as Christmas gift for the CEO without prior notice and approval of the CEO and for reasons not too clear.
In view of this, when news reached Mr. Mensah that Mr. Ponkoh had directed scheme managers in the region to donate money toward giving him a Christmas present, he was livid and ordered that the exercise be stopped.
Mr. Mensah was said to have written a letter on December 20, 2010, the same day Ponkoh wrote to the scheme managers, directing Mr. Ponkoh to proceed on leave, whilst asking the regional accountant to take over.
Snippets of information reaching DAILY GUIDE also had it that Mr. Ponkoh, who underwent surgical operation at the intensive care unit of KATH, further incurred the wrath of the CEO by his declaration that he would make sure all scheme managers in the region were maintained.
Though the directive was for him to proceed on leave, many were those who had expressed the view that Mr. Ponkoh might not return to his position and that a new person would be appointed to replace him permanently.
Wofa Yamoah Ponkoh’s days as the regional manager of the scheme nearly came to an abrupt end in the middle of last year when he was alleged to have sexually harassed a national service lady who was posted to the regional office.
In spite of the hullabaloo that surrounded the report which was captured on tape and played on the airwaves in Kumasi, Wofa Yamoah managed to stay at post by virtue of his association with the powers that be.
Even before his appointment was confirmed, Wofa Yamoah met with a stiff opposition which nearly cost him the job, when a certain lady alleged that he had infected her with HIV/AIDS after she had multiple unprotected sex with him.
Wofa Yamoah refused to answer the numerous calls by DAILY GUIDE on the issue.
Sources said he was not taking the proceed-on-leave directive lightly, as he was fighting tooth and nail to get a reposting out of the region which he allegedly claimed had been his waterloo.
Source Daily Guide