Fani-Kayode to visit EFCC Wednesday over ‘fake’ medical reports used to secure court adjournments

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Former Aviation Minister Femi Fani-Kayode is expected to visit the Lagos headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday.

The anti-graft agency, according to the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), will be quizzing the All Progressive Congress (APC) chieftain over medical reports from him said to be fake.

The politician undergoing trial bordering on money laundering was reported to have been in the habit of producing medical reports to secure court adjournments in the case involving him and the agency.

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The medical reports mostly said to have emanated from Kubwa General Hospital, Abuja, except for one issued from the Federal Staff Hospital, Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja, have all been described as fake when the anti-graft agency perused it.

According to records, the former minister had written to the court seeking adjournment on February 1, 2018; May 20, 2019; November 24, 2020; March 21, 2021, and October 9, 2021.

The letters were signed by different doctors, with the last one in October stating that the “patient (Fani-Kayode) has been diagnosed by one Dr. S. A. Tobechukwu” and signed by him.

The EFCC, on October 12, 2021, was said to have written to the hospitals involved and they all denied the medical letters came from them.

“The hospital replied the next day, October 13, 2021, debunking Fani-Kayode’s claim and declaring there was no Doctor Tobechukwu in its employment and that, in fact, none of the names of the ‘doctors’ who purportedly issued the five letters existed in the hospital’s records,” the report by ICIR said.

“The hospital also disclosed that no Femi Fani-Kayode had ever been diagnosed or treated as a patient at the hospital. The letterhead on the paper that Fani-Kayode used for his letters, the hospital stated, was fake and did not bear its reference number, just as the format of the patient’s number that he used did not tally with the format in the hospital’s database.

“Consequent upon that finding, the EFCC wrote to Fani-Kayode on November 4, 2021, inviting him to report at its Lagos office on November 10, 2021, for a chat.

“Fani-Kayode responded to the EFCC letter on November 9, 2021, stating he would be unable to honour the invitation because he would be appearing before an Abuja court on Tuesday, November 16, 2021, in a criminal case, and would need to prepare for the case with his lawyers. He requested that the agency shift the date to November 17 or 18, 2021.

“But he did not show up on the newly appointed day. Instead, he again said he would honour the invitation on November 24, 2021, and should be allowed to appear at the Abuja office instead of the Lagos office of the EFCC. But the agency promptly rejected his request to appear at the Abuja office rather than the Lagos office as the money laundering case against him that had elicited the invitation to him was being heard at a Federal High Court, Lagos, and not in Abuja.”

DENIAL

When contacted, the politician through his spokesperson, Gloria Brown, denied the letters were forged and blamed a medical practitioner he refused to name.

“What happened is he (Fani-Kayode) has a doctor who comes to treat him at home on private practice,” Ms Brown explained to ICIR. “Within five years that this case has been on, he has been going to court about seven to nine times in a year, and he only missed for five times and each time, it was basically on health issues that were beyond his control. Usually, this doctor comes to treat him and then goes ahead to produce the medical certificate from his hospital.

“Where the issue of the forged certificate is coming from is what we can’t really place our hands on at the moment. There was no forged medical certificate that he obtained – a doctor in that same hospital obtained the medical certificate.”

“I will not want to disclose the name of the doctor because the investigation is ongoing.

“We cannot place our hands on why he started using a different name in the last three medical reports. If anybody should answer the question, it is the doctor; he has to explain why he had to use a different name to produce those medical reports.”

When questioned further Brown alleged that conspiracy was involved in the matter and suggested that the doctor was being used to frame up the former minister. She said her principal did not contact the doctor to explain why he used different names for the medical reports.

“Having known that investigations were going on, we didn’t bother ourselves to do that anymore,” she added.

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