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Alleged $2.2m Fraud: Court Remands Former Commissioner In Prison

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has remanded a former Commissioner of Health in Ekiti State, Dr. Femi Thomas, in prison over an alleged … Continue reading Alleged $2.2m Fraud: Court Remands Former Commissioner In Prison


Femi_ThomasThe Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has remanded a former Commissioner of Health in Ekiti State, Dr. Femi Thomas, in prison over an alleged fraud of $2.2 million.

Also affected by the order is a Bureau de Change operator, Kabiru Sidi, who was arraigned alongside Dr. Thomas on a four count-charge of conspiracy and fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Thomas, who was also a former Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) alongside his wife, were also accused by the EFCC of making a cash payment of $2.2 million US Dollars, to one Ibitoye John Bamidele, without going through any financial institutions.

The Bureau De Change operator, was alleged to have on July 15, 2015, at the Ikoyi’s office of EFCC, made a false statement to one Afeez Mustapha, an investigating Officer with the Commission, that he was the owner of the said $2.2 million USD.

The offences according to the EFCC prosecutor, A.B.C. Ozioko are contrary to Sections 18 (2)(b): 1(a) and 39(2)(b) and punishable under sections 16(2)(b) and Section 39 (2)(c) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004.

The EFCC in the charge alleged that the first accused, Dr. Thomas, and his wife, Mrs. Femi Thomas, still at large, had on or about July 3, 2015, at house 20, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), compound, Idi-Araba, conspired among themselves to make and accept the sum of $2.2 million USD, which sum exceeded N5 million, as stipulated by the law.

The two accused persons, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Based on the plea of the accused persons, the EFCC prosecutor urged the court to remand them in prison custody and also give a date for the commencement of trial.

But counsel to the accused persons, Dr. Joseph Nwobike (SAN) informed the court that he had filed a motion for bail for the accused persons. He urged the court to admit the first accused person to bail on self-recognisance, and that the second accused person be admitted to bail on liberal terms.

In his ruling, Justice Saliu Saidu granted bail to the former NHIS Executive Secretary in the sum of N25 million with two sureties in like sum.

According to the judge, one of the sureties must be a Grade Level 15 officer in the Federal or Lagos State Ministry, while the other surety must be a landed property owner within Lagos State.

The judge also admitted the Bureau De Change operator to bail in the sum of N10 million with two sureties in like sum.

The court held that one of the sureties must be a Grade Level 12 officer in the Federal or Lagos State ministry, while the second surety must be a landed property owner within Lagos State.

The judge also ordered that the two sureties must depose to an affidavit of means and submit their passport photographs to the court, while he ordered the two accused persons to deposit their international passports with the Registrar of the court.

Justice Saidu also ordered that the two accused persons be remanded in prison custody until they fulfill their bail conditions.

The matter has been adjourned till May 12 for trial.