The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is at present grilling a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode.
Officials of the anti-graft company confirmed this to Channels Television in Lagos.
SaharaReporters had revealed on Tuesday that Fani-Kayode may effectively be deploying a contrived technique between him and a few medical personnel to search out medical excuses to allow him to evade trial.
The EFCC, in accordance with ICIR, after receiving the defendant’s newest letter, noticed the pattern Fani-Kayode’s letters had taken in getting adjournments and determined to take a tough have a look at the event.
The company noticed all of the letters had been supposedly issued from the Kubwa General Hospital, Abuja, besides one issued from the Federal Staff Hospital, Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja.
The former minister, who just lately defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), was invited to reply questions regarding the forgery of a medical report which he allegedly procured to evade his trial earlier than a Federal High Court in Lagos, sources had stated.
However, it was gathered that the previous minister arrived on the Lagos workplace of the fee in firm together with his lawyer round 1 pm.
He was stated to be answering questions from EFCC investigators even until late afternoon.
The fee stated it might give an replace on the interrogation later when it concludes its investigations.
Fani-Kayode is standing trial over an alleged N4.6 billion fraud earlier than Justice Daniel Osiagor of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.
The EFCC had charged him alongside a former Minister of Finance, Nenadi Usman, and two others on 17 counts of conspiracy, cash laundering, and fraud.
At the final sitting of the court docket on October 13, the choose had imposed a price of N200,000 on him as a consequence of his failure to look earlier than the court docket for his re-arraignment following the switch of the previous trial choose, Justice Rilwan Aikawa.
He was ordered to pay the high-quality or stand the chance of getting his bail revoked after he failed to look earlier than the court docket for his re-arraignment.
Instead of exhibiting up in court docket for his re-arraignment, the previous minister had despatched a letter to the court docket, claiming that his medical doctors had positioned him on mattress relaxation.
Counsel for the EFCC, Mrs Bilikisu Buhari had knowledgeable the court docket that the letters by the second defendant had turn into quite a few and had additionally turn into an excuse for him to evade trial.
“This is the third time he will be writing this type of letter from the same hospital. Whenever he doesn’t want to attend court, this is the type of letter we get,” she said.
But Fani-Kayode’s counsel, Bobo Fred-Ajudua, interrupted and informed the judge that although his client’s illness was a recurring one, he had attended court regularly, and this could be shown from the court’s records.
He, thereafter, asked the court to grant an adjournment in favour of his client. At that point, the trial judge decided to go through the court’s file and after searching, he discovered that the second defendant had actually sought a similar medical excuse five times.
The court then asked the defence counsel to take one of two options which were to either revoke the bail of the second defendant or to impose a fine of N200,000 to be paid before the next trial date.
“From my records, the second defendant had written the court five times excusing his trial on medical grounds. February 1, 2018; May 30, 2019; November 24, 2020; March 21, 2021, and today’s letter dated October 9, 2021.
“The second defendant is to pay a cost of N200,000 before the next adjourned date, as the recurring medical excuses have been a pattern that slows down this trial,” the choose held.
The defence counsel selected the latter possibility.
Justice Osaigor then adjourned the case till November 30 for re-arraignment of all of the defendants.
In counts one to seven, the defendants had been alleged to have unlawfully retained over N3.8 billion which they fairly must have identified fashioned a part of the proceeds of an illegal act of stealing and corruption.
In counts eight to 14, the defendants had been alleged to have unlawfully used over N970 million which they fairly must have identified fashioned a part of an illegal act of corruption.
Fani-Kayode and one Olubode Oke who is claimed to be at massive, in counts 15 to 17, had been alleged to have made money funds of about N30 million – over the quantity allowed by regulation, with out going by way of a monetary establishment.
All the offences had been stated to have contravened the provisions of Sections 15 (3) (4), 16 (2) (b), and 16 (5) of the Money laundering (prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.