The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday dragged former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, before the Special Offences Court in Ikeja, over his alleged procurement of a “fabricated” medical report
The controversial minister and member of the ruling All Progressives Congress was about 9am marched before Justice O.O Abike-Fadipe by EFCC operatives for possible arraignment.
The anti-corruption agency claimed that Fani-Kayode procured one Dr Ogieva Oziegbe to issue the fake medical report, which he allegedly tendered in before the Federal High Court in his ongoing money laundering trial.
The ex-minister was brought to court by the EFCC on 12 counts.
The charge sheet partly read, “That you Femi Fani-Kayode on or about the 11th day of October, 2021 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to mislead the Federal High Court Lagos Judicial Division in charge No. FHC/L/251C/2016 fabricated a documentary evidence titled: MEDICAL REPORT ON OLUFEMI FANI KAYODE 60 YEARS/MALE/HOSP. NO.00345 DATED 11/10/2021 and purported same to have been issued by Kubwa General Hospital.”
It noted that the offence is contrary to and punishable under section 88(1) (a) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.
EFCC lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo therefore urged the court to take the plea of the defendant.
However, Fani-Kayode Counsel, Wale Balogun, opposed the prayer, noting that the defence team has filed an application to challenge the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter.
Responding, Oyedepo urged the court to dismiss the application on the grounds that its an attempt to frustrate trial because the defendant was charge on Lagos law and it can only be heard in Lagos jurisdiction.
He stressed that the Administration of Criminal Justice has addressed various antics about frivolous applications meant to delay the wheel of justice not to succeed to frustrate trial.
In a counter reaction, Balogun told the court that the various authorities cited by the prosecution to back up his claims are wrongly interpreted.
He noted that the application is not to challenge the validity of the charge information but the jurisdictions to preside over the matter.
After entertaining the submission of the lawyers, Justice Abike-Fadipe reserved ruling till Friday, December 17 to decide the application.
Fani-Kayode had been having a running battle with the EFCC for some time and he was once remanded for 67 days in 2016 alongside a former minister of finance, Nenadi Usman.
The duo and two others were facing a 17-count of criminal conspiracy, fraud and money laundering to the tune of N4.9 billion.
They denied the allegations, and each of them was later granted N250 million bail. PUNCH