Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has denied allegations that he forged medical reports to mislead the court.
Mr. Fani-Kayode was arraigned on a 12-count charge before the Lagos State Special Offences court, Ikeja.
According to the EFCC’s prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, the former 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 Jan. 31, 2018, May 30, 2019, Nov. 24, 2020, March 23, Oct. 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.
Before taking the plea of the accused, Justice OluwaBunmi abike-fadipe held that he must be arraigned before moving the preliminary objection against the charge.
The judge relied on sections 396 and 374 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, as well as section 23 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 are 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 the argument raised by the defence counsel, Wale Balogun that the charges 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 fall within the jurisdiction of the court.
After the charge was read out to him, Mr Fani-Kayode pleaded not guilty to all the 12 counts.
He was later granted bail to the tune of N5m and a surety in like sum.