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Judge threatens arrest warrant against Fani-Kayode over continued absence from trial

An Ikeja special offences court has threatened to issue a bench warrant for the arrest of Femi Fani-Kayode, a former minister of aviation, for continued absence from his trial. 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in a 12-count charge filed before the court, accused Fani-Kayode of presenting a false medical report before a federal high court in Ikoyi.

The anti-graft agency alleged that the former minister hired one Ogieva Oziegbe to produce the alleged false medical report.

On December 17, 2021, when he was arraigned, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.

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On February 20, Wale Balogun, Fani-Kayode’s counsel, informed the court that his client was absent due to ill health and issues he had with the Department of State Services (DSS) and police.

Balogun prayed the court to adjourn the case, promising to make the defendant available at the next proceedings.

However, when the case was called on Wednesday, Fani-Kayode was absent.

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Chinozo Eze, who represented the defendant said the defendant still has health issues.

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

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.

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Olubunmi Abike-Fadipe, the presiding judge, noted that the last time Fani-Kayode appeared for the trial was on November 4, 2022.

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

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

Abike-Fadipe said the EFCC could withdraw the case if it could not pursue it diligently.

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

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