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Court admits evidence against ex-NHIS scribe

By Innocent Anaba

LAGOS — A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, admitted a document tendered in evidence by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, against a former Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, Dr. Martins Thomas,.

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The February elections

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.

The second defendant, 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.

Trial judge in the matter is Justice Ayokunle Faji.

At the resumed hearing in the matter, yesterday,  a prosecution witness, Emmanuel Egwu, who is the Director of Finance, NHIS, gave a breakdown of total amounts of the entitlements, salaries and emoluments received by Thomas while he worked at the NHIS between November 2013 and May 2015.

Egwu, the third prosecution witness, PW3, while being led in evidence by counsel for the EFCC, Ekele Iheanacho, revealed that the total money Thomas received in his official capacity was a sum of N62,919,154.75 only.

When Egwu sought to tender the said documents as evidence, there was no objection by counsel 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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