Sunday, May 16, 2021

More trouble for Ex-NHIS boss as court admits more evidence on alleged $2.1m Fraud


Rayyan Alhassan
Rayyan Alhassan
Rayyan Alhassan is a 30-year-old graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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Justice A. O. Faji of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Thursday, admitted a document tendered in evidence by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, against Dr. Martins Thomas, a former Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS.

Mr Thomas was re-arraigned alongside one Kabiru Sidi, a Bureau De Change Operator, on June 28, 2017 on an amended six-count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of $2,198,900.

He was alleged to have conspired with his wife, Femi, to make a cash payment of the sum to one Ibitoye Bamidele at their residence on 20, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos.

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The second defendant, Mr Sidi was also said to have lied to an EFCC investigator, Afeez Mustapha, that he was the owner of the money that the first defendant and his wife transacted with.

One of the count reads: “That you, Kabiru Sidi, on or about the 15th day of July, 2015, at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s Lagos Zonal office, Ikoyi, before the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, made a false statement to Afeez Mustapha, an investigating officer with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 39 2(b)and punishable under Section 39 (2)(c)of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Establishment Act, 2004.”

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Meanwhile, a statement by the EFCC’s acting Head, Media & Publicity, Tony Orilade, said that at the resumed hearing today (Thursday), a prosecution witness, Emmanuel Egwu, gave a breakdown of total amounts of the entitlements, salaries and emoluments received by Mr Thomas while he worked at the NHIS between November 2013 and May 2015.

Mr Egwu, who is the Director of Finance, NHIS, is the third prosecution witness, PW3.

While being led in evidence by counsel for the EFCC, Ekele Iheanacho, revealed that the total money Mr Thomas received in his official capacity was a sum of N62,919,154.75.

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When Mr Egwu sought to tender the said documents as evidence, there was no objection by counsels for the defendants.

The documents were, thereafter, admitted in evidence as exhibits F1 and F2 respectively.

When counsel to the first defendant, Collins Ogbona, asked the witness, during cross-examination, if he knew the first defendant personally and all his sources of income, the witness said: “I only know the first defendant in his official capacity as well as only his official income.”

Consequently, Justice Faji adjourned the case to March 8, 19 and 20, 2019 for continuation of trial.

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