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HomeLegal AffairsAlleged Forgery: Court threatens bench warrant against Fani-Kayode

Alleged Forgery: Court threatens bench warrant against Fani-Kayode

The judge noted that Mr Fani-Kayode appeared last for the trial on 4 November 2022.

An Ikeja Special Offences Court on Wednesday threatened to issue a bench warrant for the arrest of a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, for failure to appear for his trial.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Olubumni Abike-Fadipe frowned at the constant non-appearance of the defendant in the trial.

Mr Fani-Kayode is standing trial on a 12-count charge bordering on the use of false documents, use of fabricated evidence, procuring the execution of documents by false pretences, and fabrication of evidence.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge, on arraignment on 17 December 2021.

The judge noted that Mr Fani-Kayode appeared last for the trial on 4 November 2022.

Mrs Abike-Fadipe cited excuses that had been given by the defendant for non-appearance.

She consequently threatened to issue a bench warrant against him if he failed to show up at the next adjourned date.

The judge also showed displeasure at the lack of diligent prosecution of the case.

She said that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) prosecuting the case could withdraw it if it would not prosecute it diligently.

She adjourned the case until 7 November for the continuation of trial.

The defendant was alleged to have forged medical reports which he tendered before Justice Daniel Osiagor of a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, where he is being prosecuted by EFCC for an alleged N4.9 billion fraud.

His counsel, Wale Balogun, had on 20 February informed the court of the absence of the defendant due to health reasons and issues he had with the State Security Service (SSS or DSS) and police.

“We regret to announce to your lordship that the defendant is not in court due to health reasons, and due to a running battle he has with both the DSS and the police,” he said.

Mr Balogun had prayed the court to adjourn the case, promising to make the defendant available at Wednesday’s proceedings.

However, when the case was called on Wednesday, Chinozo Eze, who represented Mr Balogun, told the court that Mr Fani-Kayode was not in court due to health issues.

“The absence of the defendant in court is due to health issues,” Mr Eze said.

Mr Eze further informed the court that a medical report and a letter seeking the leave of the court to vacate the adjourned date had been submitted to the court.

EFCC counsel, Zinat Atiku, confirmed the receipt of the said letter.

(News Agency of Nigeria (NAN))

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