Alleged Forgery: Judge Threatens Warrant Against FFK

by John Ojewale
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Alleged Forgery: Judge Threatens Warrant Against FFK

On Wednesday, the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja threatened to declare Femi Fani-Kayode (FFK) wanted for failing to appear in court for his trial. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is prosecuting Fani-Kayode on 12 charges related to the use of fraudulent papers, the use of forged evidence, and getting the execution of documents by false pretence.

The EFCC accused the ex-minister of forging medical reports, which he presented before Justice Daniel Osiagor of the Federal High Court in Lagos. As a result, the court is trying him for an alleged N4.9bn fraud.

Justice Olubumni Abike-Fadipe, upset with Fani-Kayode’s reluctance to appear in court after his arraignment on December 17, 2021, and successive adjournments, issued the warning on Wednesday when the case came up.

At the last adjourned date, the defendant’s counsel, Mr. Wale Balogun, informed the court of the defendant’s absence, citing ill health, which he said was related to Fani-Kayode’s encounter with the Department of State Services, which grilled him over some comments made ahead of the general elections.

Balogun had asked the judge for an adjournment, promising to appear in court on Wednesday.

However, during Wednesday’s resumption hearing, the defendant’s attorney, Mr. Chinozo Eze, informed the court that Fani-Kayode was not in court due to health issues.

He informed the court that a medical report and a letter requesting permission from the court to vacate the two dates were already on file.

EFC C’s Counsel:

Zinat Atiku, counsel for the EFCC, acknowledged the development and stated that the prosecution’s options were limited.

However, the judge expressed concern about the defendant’s recurrent absences, noting that his last time in court was November 4, 2022.

The judge highlighted several justifications offered by the defendant for Fani-Kayode to appear in court and face his trial.

As a result, Justice Abike-Fadipe threatened to issue a bench warrant against him if he failed to appear on the next postponed date.

The judge also chastised the prosecution for his lack of competence in the case trial, noting that anti-graft could withdraw the matter if it were not ready to prosecute it.



cc: Punch Ng

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