EFCC Arraigns Fani-kayode Over Alleged Fake Medical Reports

* Fani Kayode

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) today, arraigned former Minister of  Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-kayode, for allegedly  procuring a fake medical reports.
Fani-kayode was arraigned on a 12 count-charge bordering on the alleged offences before Justice Oluwabunmi Abike-Fadipe of the Lagos State Special Offences court, Ikeja.
In the charge, the anti-graft agency accused the defendant of presenting five fake medical reports, before a Lagos Federal High Court, where he is currently standing on money laundering charges alongside former Nigeria Minister of Finance, Nenadi Esther Usman and one other.
The former Minister, who recently defected to the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), was however admitted to bail in the sum  in the sum of N5 million, following an oral application made by his counsel, Wale Balogun after he pleaded not guilty to the 12 counts charge  of alleged forgery of medical reports between 2018 and 2021.
Justice Fadipe also ordered the defendant to fill an undertaking to attend all his trial dates, and to present a surety in like sum who’s to be resident within the courts jurisdiction and who must also fill an undertaking that the defendant will attend all hearings.
Earlier in the day, Justice Abike-Fadipe ruled that he must be arraigned first before hearing his preliminary objection against the validity of the charge
The judge relied on section 396 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, as well as sections 23 and 374 of the Administrationof Criminal Justice Law of Lagos state amended in October 2021.
According to the court, the purpose of these provisions of the law is to ensure speedy dispensation of justice and to reduce delay tactics often used by defendants to stall criminal trials brought against them.
The judge added that the argument raised by the defence counsel, Wale Balogun that the court  should declines jurisdiction, because the offences fall outside the scope of the Economic and financial crimes commission prosecuting the matter shows that it is challenging the validity of the charge which falls within the scope of the quoted laws.
In conclusion, the court ruled, “I am thus satisfied that based on section 396 of the ACJA and 374 of the ACJL (as amended) that before this court proceeds to take the preliminary objection raised by the defendant to the charges preferred against him by the prosecution, the charges must be read to him”.
The judge later held that hearing of the preliminary objection will be argued in February but a ruling will be delivered along with the final judgment on the case in accordance with the extant laws.
According to the EFCC’s prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, the former Aviation Minister through one Dr Ogieva Oziegbe procured fake medical reports on various occasions to avoid attending his trial at the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court.
“He procured the false medical reports on January 31, 2018, May 30, 2019, November 24, 2020, March 23, October 11.
“The defendant falsely purported before a Federal High Court, Lagos in charge number FHC/L/251C/2016 that the reports were issued by either Kubwa General Hospital or the Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja, Federal Staff Hospital,”
The prosecutor said the offences violate Sections 88(1), 365(3), 366 and 369 of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2015.
The judge adjourned to February 4, 2022, for a report on the fulfillment of all preliminary requirements by both sides and fixed February 23, 25, and 28 as hearing dates.

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