Anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has released former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, barely 24 hours after picking him up in Lagos and flying him to its Abuja head office.
Fani-Kayode was scheduled to appear in a Federal High Court in Abuja, Wednesday to face charges bordering on forgery.
However, reacting to his arrest, Tuesday, Fani-Kayode said he was not arrested a he claimed that he only responded to an invitation by the EFCC to appear.
He said he was granted bail on self-recognition by the EFCC, adding that officials of the agency’ were very polite and professional.’
“Just arrived at the George Hotel for dinner. I was never arrested by the EFCC. I was invited & I flew down to Lagos to see them.
“I arrived in their office at 2.00pm & left at 8.30pm. I was granted bail on self recognition. They were very polite & professional. Thanks be to God,” Fani-Kayode disclosed.
Operatives of EFCC reportedly brought the former minister to its Lagos Office, Tuesday, preparatory to transportation to its Abuja head office.
“Fani Kayode was arrested and flown to Lagos as the Lagos EFCC office is expecting him on November 24, 2021, to answer questions on possible forgery of hospital documents to hoodwink the court handling the case against him on money-laundering allegations with a view to stalling hearing,” said a source.
The EFCC, after receiving the defendant’s latest letter declining to honour an invitation, observed the trend Fani-Kayode’s letters had taken in getting adjournments and decided to take a hard look at the development.
The agency observed all the letters were supposedly issued from the Kubwa General Hospital, Abuja, except one issued from the Federal Staff Hospital, Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja.
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 agency wrote to the Kubwa General Hospital on October 12, 2021 seeking authenticity of the letter. 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 hospital also disclosed that Femi Fani-Kayode had never 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.
However, he still failed to show up on the newly appointed day, requesting that 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.
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
The EFCC had on June 28, 2016, arraigned Fani-Kayode, Nenadi Usman, who was the Minister of State for Finance during the former President Goodluck Jonathan administration; Yusuf Danjuma, a former Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), and a limited liability company, Jointrust Dimentions Nig. Ltd. before Justice Muhammed Aikawa on a 17-count charge of the N4.6 billion money laundering trial.