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Nigeria: Court Threatens Arrest of Fani-Kayode Over Forgery Trial

Justice Olubumni Abike-Fadipe of the Lagos State Special Offences Court siting in Ikeja has threatened to order the arrest of former minister of aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode over his refusal to appear in court for his alleged forgery trial.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned the former minister before the court on a 12-count charge of using false documents, use of fabricated evidence, procuring the execution of documents by false pretence, and fabricating evidence, till May 24 and 25, 2023.

The anti-graft agency had specifically accused Fani-Kayode of procuring one Dr. Ogieva Oziegbe to issue a fake medical report, which he allegedly tendered before the Federal High Court where he is currently standing trial before Justice Daniel Osiagor over money laundering allegations.

The EFCC also claimed that the defendant on October 11, 2021, in Kubwa, Abuja, connived with one Dr. Ogieva Oziegbe to execute a document titled: MEDICAL REPORT ON Olufemi Fani Kayode 60 YEARS/MALE/HOSP. NO.00345 and purportedly to have been issued by Kubwa General Hospital.

The commission further maintained that procuring and execution of documents by false pretence contradicts section 369 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The former minister drew the ire of the judge after he failed to appear before her for three adjournments.

At the last sitting of the court, the defence counsel, Wale Balogun, informed the court of the defendant’s absence due to health reasons and his issues with the Department of State Services, DSS.

Balogun had pleaded with the court to grant him adjournment with a promise to make him available at today’s proceeding.

However, when the matter was called on Wednesday, Chinozo Eze, who represents him, told the court that Fani-Kayode was not in court due to health issues.

He informed the court that a medical report and a letter seeking the leave of the court to vacate the two dates are already in the court file.

EFCC counsel, Zinat Atiku, confirmed the development and said the prosecution’s hands are tight regarding how to forge ahead.

Fani-Kayode’s Absence Stalls Forgery Trial

However, the judge frowned at the constant absence of the defendant, noting that the last time he was in court was November 4, 2022.