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Ex-NHIS boss charged for $2.2m fraud

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Ex-NHIS boss charged for $2.2m fraudby Joseph Jibueze, March 16, 2016 at 12:02 am in News

 

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has charged a former Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Dr. Femi Thomas with $2.2 million (about N437,909,420.43) fraud.

 

He pleaded not guilty during his arraignment before Justice Saliu Saidu of the Lagos Federal High Court in Lagos.

 

He was arraigned along with a Bureau de Change operator, Kabiru Sidi.

 

EFCC alleged that Thomas and his wife, believed to be at large, on or about last July 3, at House 20, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) compound, Idi-Araba, conspired to accept $2.2 million, which exceeded the N5 million permitted by law for public officers.

 

They were accused of paying $2.2 million cash to Ibitoye Bamidele without using a financial institution.

 

Sidi was accused of making a false statement to an EFCC investigator, Afeez Mustapha, last July 15 that he owned the $2.2 million.

 

The alleged offences contravene sections 18 (2) (b), 1(a) and 39(2) (b) and punishable under sections 16(2) (b) and Section 39 (2) (c) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act 2004.

 

The defendants pleaded not guilty.

 

Defence counsel Dr. Joseph Nwobike (SAN) said a bail application was filed. He urged the court to grant Thomas bail on self-recognition, and to grant Sidi bail on liberal terms.

 

Justice Saidu granted Thomas bail for N25 million with two sureties and Sidi got N10 million bail with two sureties as well.

 

The judge adjourned until May 12 for trial.

 

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