Mr Fani-Kayode at the Special Offences Court, Ikeja, Lagos. Photo: Wahab Akinlade
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC was unable to arraign a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode over allegations of forgery and procuring execution of documents by false pretence.
Fani-Kayode was docked before Justice Abike-Fadipe of a Special Offences Court in Ikeja, on a 12-count charge which borders on the procurement of medical reports from one Dr Ogieva Oziegbe with inventory number 00345 dated 11 October 2021.
According to the prosecution, Femi Fani-Kayode on October 11, 2021, in Kubwa, Abuja, fraudulent connived with Dr Ogieva Oziegbe to execute a document titled: MEDICAL REPORT ON Olufemi Fani Kayode 60 YEARS/MALE/HOSP. NO.00345 and purported same to have been issued by Kubwa General Hospital.
EFCC noted that procuring and execution of documents by false pretence is contrary to section 369 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.
Appearing before the court, EFCC Counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, urged the court to take the plea of the defendant over the allegation.
However, Fani-Kayode Counsel, Mr Wale Balogun opposed the prayer, noting that the defence team has filed an application to challenge the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter.
Responding, Mr Oyedepo urged the court to dismiss the application on the grounds that it’s an attempt to frustrate the trial because the defendant was charged on Lagos law and it can only be heard in Lagos jurisdiction.
He emphasized that the Administration of Criminal Justice has addressed various antics about frivolous applications meant to delay the wheel of justice not to succeed to frustrate the trial.
In a counter-reaction, Mr Balogun told the court that the various authorities cited by the prosecution to back up his claims are wrongly interpreted.
He noted that the application is not to challenge the validity of the charge information but the jurisdictions to preside over the matter.
Fani-Kayode Counsel urged the court to entertain the application and rule on it before the plea can be taken.
After entertaining the submission of the counsels, Justice Abike-Fadipe reserved ruling till December 17, Friday to decide the application.
Reporting by Wahab Akinlade; editing by Abdullahi Lamino