Justice Saliu Saidu of a Lagos Federal High Court, on Wednesday, ordered the remand of a former Executive Secretary of National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, Dr. Femi Thomas, also known as Dr. Ike, in prison custody over alleged fraud of $2.2 million.
The judge also ordered that a Bureau de Change operator, Kabiru Sidi, be remanded in prison custody alongside the former NHIS boss.
Justice Saidu made the remand order of the two accused persons, after they were arraigned before his court by the anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a four count-charge bordering on conspiracy to make and accept the said sum which exceeded the N5million mark, and making a false statement.
The EFCC in a charge marked FHC/L/457C/2015, 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 sun of $2.2 million, which sum exceeded N5 million, as stipulated by the law.
The former NHIS Executive Secretary, who was a two-term Commissioner of Health in Ekiti State, alongside his wife, was also alleged to had made a cash payment of the $2.2 million, to one Mr. Ibitoye John Bamidele, without going through any financial institutions.
While the Bureau De Change operator, Kabiru Sidi, 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, Mr. 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 two accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Upon the plea of accused persons’ plea, the EFCC prosecutor urged the court to remand them and give a date for trial.
However, lawyers to the accused persons, led by Dr. Joseph Nwobike, SAN, informed the court that they have filed a motion for bail for the accused persons. He urged the court to admit bail to the first accused person on self-recognisance, and that the second accused person be admitted to bail on a liberal terms.
Ruling on the bail applications, Justice Saidu admitted bail time the former NHIS Executive Secretary in the sum of N25 million with two sureties.
One of the sureties must be a Grade Level 15 officer in Federal or Lagos State Ministry, while the other surety must be a landed property owner within Lagos State.
The judge also admited bail to the Bureau De Change operator in the sum of N10 million with two sureties.
One of the sureties according to the judge must be a Grade Level 12 officer in 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 affidavit of means and submit their passport photograph, while he ordered the two accused persons to deposit their international passports with the Register of the court.
The judge however ordered that the two accused persons be remanded in prisons custody pending the time they are able to perfect the bail conditions, while adjourned the matter to May 12, for trial.


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