The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arraigned the former Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Dr Femi Thomas, for allegedly carrying out a cash transaction to the tune of $2.2 million without the involvement of any formal financial institution.
He was arraigned alongside one Kabiru Sidi, a Bureau de Change operator, before Justice Saliu Saidu of the Federal High Court in Lagos.
The anti- graft agency which presented a four-count charge against Thomas and Sidi, alleged that the former NHIS boss conspired with his wife at their House 20, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, to make a cash payment of $2.2 million to one Mr. Ibitoye John Bamidele
According to the EFCC, Sidi lied to an operative of the commission, Afeez Mustapha, that he was the owner of the money.
The prosecutor, Mr. A.B.C. Ozioko, told the court that the offences allegedly committed by the defendants contravened sections 18(2)(b), 1(a) and 39(2)(b) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act 2004.
According to him, the defendants were liable to be punished under sections 16(2) and 39(2)(c) of the same Act.
The two men however pleaded not guilty to the charge and the prosecutor urged the court to remand them in prison and asked for a trial date.
But counsel to Thomas, Dr. Joseph Nwobike (SAN) told the court about the former NHIS boss’ application for bail on self recognition and prayed that the court grant bail to the second defendant.
The presiding judge then granted Thomas bail in the sum of N25 million with two sureties in like sum while Sidi was granted bail in the sum of N10 million with two sureties in like sum.
The judge, however, remanded the two defendants in prison custody till they meet the bail conditions.
They were also ordered to submit their international passports with the court registrar. The case was adjourned till May 12, 2016.