Fani-Kayode’s indictment stalled on jurisdictional claim

The indictment of a former aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, on allegations of forgery, was blocked on Tuesday on a motion for jurisdiction.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission dragged Fani-Kayode before Judge OO Abike-Fadipe of the Lagos State Special Offenses Court on Tuesday on 12 counts.

According to the EFCC, Fani-Kayode, on October 11, 2021, in Kubwa, Abuja, fraudulently colluded with a Dr. Ogieva Oziegbe to execute a document titled “Medical Report on Olufemi Fani-Kayode 60yrs/MALE/HOSP. NO.00345 and believed to have been issued by Kubwa General Hospital.

The EFCC noted that obtaining and executing documents under false pretences is against Section 369 of the Lagos State Criminal Act 2015.

During Tuesday’s proceedings, EFCC lawyer Rotimi Oyedepo urged the court to accept the defendant’s plea.

However, Fani-Kayode’s lawyer, Wale Balogun, informed the court that the defense team had filed a motion challenging the court’s jurisdiction to hear the case.

The EFCC lawyer, while urging the court to dismiss the defendant’s request, noted that the request was an attempt to derail the trial, adding that the defendant was charged with Lagos law and the case could only be heard in the jurisdiction of Lagos.

Responding to the EFCC’s request, Fani-Kayode’s lawyer noted that the various authorities cited by the prosecution to support his allegations had been misinterpreted, adding that the request was not to challenge the validity of the information. of indictment but jurisdiction to preside over the case. .

He further urged the court to consider and rule on the claim before the defendant’s plea can be heard.

After hearing the arguments of the two lawyers, Judge Abike-Fadipe adjourned until December 17 to rule on the request.

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Thelma J. Longworth