Due to Femi Fani-Kayode’s absence from the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja on Monday, the former Minister of Aviation’s forgery trial was halted.
He is on trial before an Ikeja Special Offences Court for allegedly using false documents, fabricating evidence, and obtaining document execution.
Fani-Kayode is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on 12 counts, including submitting a forged medical report to Justice Daniel Osiagor of the Federal High Court in Lagos, where he is being prosecuted for alleged fraud totaling N4.9 billion.
On Monday, the defendant’s attorney, Wale Balogun, informed the court that Fani-Kayode was not present at the resumption of the hearing.
“We regret to inform your lordship that the defendant will not be appearing in court due to health reasons and a continuing dispute he has with both the DSS and the police,” the statement reads.
Balogun told the court that “since the last time we were here, the defendant has been reporting every day at the DSS, and while he was doing this, the Nigeria Police invited him” to be questioned about some comments Fani-Kayode made online. This information was made in reference to the defendant’s daily attendance at the DSS.
“He has not been able to have peace of mind since we left here at the last date, and that has affected his health.
He was admitted to the hospital on the 16th, and on the following Saturday, he was also readmitted to the National Hospital.
“Even as we speak, he is also present, and as a result, it has become imperative to request your lordship’s permission to vacate not only today but also on the 21st and 22nd of the next month.
“We respectfully request that those days be vacated to allow him to resolve those issues,”
The attorney claimed that he had provided the prosecution with some relevant documents.
Bilikisu Buhari, the EFCC prosecuting attorney, responded, “The defense counsel shared with us two documents this morning; There is a medical report and a police report from Nigeria.
“In the circumstances, we leave the court’s discretion to make the decision.”
The defendant entered a not-guilty plea at his arraignment on December 17, 2021.
Justice Olubunmi Abike-Fadipe adjourned the case until May 24 and 25 so that the trial could continue.