Justice Ayokunle Faji of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, has admitted more evidence against Martins Oluwafemi Thomas, a former Executive Secretary of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
The evidence was tendered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday.
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 to make a cash payment to one Ibitoye Bamidele at their residence on 20, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos. Sidi was also said to have lied to an EFCC investigator, Afeez Mustapha, that he was the owner of the money.
One of the counts against the defendants read: “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 Honourable 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.”
Emmanuel Egwu, a prosecution witness who is also the Director of Finance of the 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, who is also the third prosecution witness, while being led in evidence by Ekele Iheanacho, counsel for the EFCC, revealed that the total money Thomas received in his official capacity was a sum of N62,919,154.75.
When 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 Collins Ogbona, counsel to the first defendant, 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 till March 8, 19 and 20, 2019 for continuation of trial.