By ADENIKE AYODELE
IKEJA- The trial of the former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, charged with forgery of medical report before an Ikeja Special Offences Court, was on Monday stalled due to his absence.
Fani-Kayode is standing trial on a 12-count charge bordering on use of false documents, use of fabricated evidence, procuring execution of documents by false pretence and fabricating evidence.
The defence counsel, Mr Wale Balogun, informed the court of the absence of the defendant.
Balogun said the defendant was absent due to health reasons and issues he had with the Department of State Services, (DSS).
“His absence is also due to a running battles he has with both the DSS and the Police.
“Since the last time we were here, the defendant has been reporting everyday at the DSS and while he was doing this, the police invited him for questioning with regards to some comments he made online.
“Since we left here at the last date, he has not been able to have peace of mind and that has affected his health.
“On Feb. 16, he was at the hospital and on Saturday he was also readmitted back at the National Hospital.
“Even now as we speak, he is also there, and based on this, it has become imperative to seek your lordship’s indulgence not only to vacate today, but the other days, 21 and 22.
“We humbly apply that those days be vacated to enable him resolve those issues,” Balogun said.
The EFCC counsel, Mrs Bilikisu Buhari, confirmed that the defence gave some documents to the prosecution.
“The defence counsel this morning, shared with us two documents, one is a medical report and another from the Nigeria Police,” she said.
“Today’s business is for the cross-examination of the prosecution’s witness. However, we leave the decision to the discretion of the court,” she said.
The defendant was alleged to have forged medical report(s), which he tendered before Justice Daniel Osiagor of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, where he is being prosecuted by the EFCC for an alleged N4.9 billion fraud.
He had pleaded not guilty to the charges when he was arraigned on Dec. 17, 2021.
Justice Olubumni Abike-Fadipe adjourned the case until May 24 for continuation of trial. (NAN)