Tuesday, March 15

$2.2m Transaction Fraud: Court Throws Ex-NHIS Boss Into Prison

$2.2m Transaction Fraud: Court Throws Ex-NHIS Boss Into Prison

Former Executive Secretary of National Health Insurance Scheme, Dr. Femi Thomas

A Federal High Court has sent a former Executive Secretary of National Health Insurance Scheme, Dr. Femi Thomas to prison for a $2.2m transaction fraud.

A former Executive Secretary of National Health Insurance Scheme, Dr. Femi Thomas has been remanded in prison custody by a Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday. He was ordered to be kept in prison for allegedly carrying out a cash transaction in the sum of $2.2m without going through any financial institution.

The court also remanded a bureau de change operator, who helped him in the transaction, identified as Kabiru Sidi.

The two were arraigned on four counts by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission before Justice Saliu Saidu.

According to the EFCC, Thomas was said to have conspired with his wife, Femi, to make cash payment of $2.2m to one Mr. Ibitoye John Bamidele, at their House 20, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos. Thomas who is a two-term Commissioner for Health in Ekiti State executed his plans with the intent to defraud the government.

However, Sidi was charged for allegedly lying to an EFCC investigator, Afeez Mustapha, that he was the owner of the $2.2m that Thomas and his wife transacted with and so was remanded in prison as an accomplice.

The EFCC prosecutor, Mr. A.B.C. Ozioko, who arraigned Thomas and Sidi before Justice Saidu on Wednesday, said the two defendants acted contrary to sections 18(2)(b), 1(a) and 39(2)(b)  of the EFCC (Establishment) Act 2004. Ozioko said they were liable to be punished under sections 16(2)(b) and 39 (2)(c) of the same Act.

The two pleaded not guilty. His defence counsel, led by Dr. Joseph Nwobike (SAN), informed the court of Thomas’ application seeking bail on self-recognisance and asked the court to grant bail to Sidi on libera terms.

Accepting his plea, Justice Saidu granted Thomas bail in the sum of N25m with two sureties in like sum.

The judge said one of the sureties must be a civil servant  on Grade Level 15 in the employment of the federal or state government, while the second surety must own a landed property within Lagos State.

Justice Saidu also granted Sidi bail in the sum of N10m with two sureties in like sum. According to him, the sureties must be a civil servant on Grade Level 12 in the employment of the federal or state government.

The judge also ordered that the two sureties must depose to affidavit of means and submit their passport photograph, while he ordered the two accused persons to deposit their passports with the court’s registrar.

Justice Saidu, however, ordered that the accused persons should be remanded in the prison custody pending when they will perfect their bail conditions.

He adjourned till May 12 for trial.

No comments :

Trending News

Other News That You May Like