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    EFCC arraigns Fani-Kayode for forging medical reports to evade trial

    The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Friday arraigned a former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, for allegedly forging medical reports to evade trial.

    The controversial minister and member of the ruling All Progressives Congress was brought before the Special Offences Court in Ikeja, over his alleged procurement of a “fabricated” medical report.

    The anti-corruption agency claimed that Fani-Kayode procured one Dr Ogieva Oziegbe to issue fake medical reports, which he allegedly tendered in before the Federal High Court in his ongoing money laundering trial.

    The ex-minister was marched to court by the EFCC on 12 counts including procuring the execution of documents by false pretences, use of false documents, fabricating evidence and use of fabricated evidence.

    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.

    Fani-Kayode, however, pleaded not guilty to the 12 counts

    Following the defendant’s not guilty plea, counsel for EFCC, S.I. Suleiman, asked the court for a date for trial and also prayed the court to remand the former minister.

    In an oral application, counsel for Fani-Kayode, Wale Balogun, however, prayed the court to grant him bail in accordance with Section 115(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law, 2021 as amended.

    The lawyer said that the defendant has, since 2016, been standing trial before two justices of the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court and had met all the requirements for bail in the cases.

    Balogun noted that Fani-Kayode had deposited his international passport to the Federal High Court as part of the terms of his bail.

    “All the offences in the charge are bailable, with punishment ranging from three to seven years. We apply that your lordship’s absolute discretion be applied to the defendant.”

    The counsel noted that the defendant was a two-time minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

    “He is 61 years old and by no means a flight risk,” the counsel submitted.

    Granting the bail, Justice Abike-Fadipe said that EFCC did not appear to oppose the bail application and that the defendant did not pose a flight risk.

    “The defendant shall execute a bond in the sum of five million Naira and file an undertaking that he shall attend all proceedings in this case.

    “The defendant shall present a surety in like sum who shall be resident within the jurisdiction of this court; the surety shall also execute a bond in the sum of five million Naira,” she held, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.

    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.

    Copyright PUNCH.

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