Nigeria: EFCC Arraigns Five Medical Doctors for Alleged Fraud
London, Jan. 31, 2018 (AltAfrika)-Nigeria anti-corruption agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, onWednesday arraigned five former officials of the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, Edo State Branch, on a 21-count charge of fraud, stealing, conspiracy to commit felony and false accounting before Justice Efe Ikponwonba of the Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City, Edo State.
According to the agency spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, the defendants are Dr. Emmanuel Ighodaro, Dr. Anthony Owolabi, Dr. Quincy Atoghengbe, Dr. Raymond Ogieva and Dr. Oseremen Gabriel Ogbebor.
They were alleged to have conspired to commit felony, punishable under Section 516 of the Criminal Code CAP 48 Laws of Bendel State of Nigeria as applicable to Edo State.
Particulars of one of the counts read:
“Dr. Emmanuel Ighodaro, Dr. Anthony Owolabi, Dr. Quincy Atoghengbe , Dr.Raymond Ogieva and Dr. Osaremen Gabriel Ogbebor, while acting in your capacities as officers of Nigeria Medical Association, Edo State Branch between 2013 and 2014 at Benin in Edo State within the jurisdiction of this court conspired to omit UBA Account No. 1010712142, a material particular in the Audit Report for the year, 1st August, 2013 – 31st July, 2014 of the Association and thereby committed an offence.
When the charges were read to the defendants, they pleaded not guilty.
Soon after taking their plea, counsel to four of the defendants, I. E. Imadegbelo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, told the court that he had a pending application for bail for the defendants and pleaded with the court to grant them bail.
He noted the defendants were granted administrative bail by the EFCC and that they have adhered to the terms of the bail.
Counsel to the prosecution, Ben Ubi, did not opposed the motion but prayed the court to fix a date for trial.
Justice Ikponwonba granted each of the defendants bail in the sum of N1million and a surety in like sum. The surety must be a responsible Nigerian and must provide evidence of tax payment.
The case was adjourned to February 20, 2018 for the commencement of the trial.
In another development, Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, onWednesday, adjourned further hearing in a case involving a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode and others to February 28, 2018.
Fani-Kayode is standing trial alongside a former Minister of State for Finance, Senator Nenadi Usman, Danjuma Yusuf and a company, Joint Trust Dimensions Limited, on a 17-count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N4.9billion.
At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, counsel to Fani-Kayode, Norrison Quakers, SAN, told the court that his client was suffering from a heart- related ailment.
Quakers further stated that he was informed by Fani-Kayode’s wife that her husband had been taken to hospital.
Fani-Kayode’s counsel assured the judge that he would obtain the medical report and make same available to the court before the close of work on Wednesday or tomorrow, Thursday, February 1, 2018.
Consequently, Quakers sought an adjournment of the matter, which was granted by the judge.
However, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, drew the attention of the court to Section 396, sub-section 4 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, which states that “no party will be entitled to more than five adjournments in a particular criminal case.”
Oyedepo also urged the court to note that Fani-Kayode had taken two adjournments since the trial commenced.
Justice Rilwan Aikawa adjourned the case to February 28, 2018 and March 1 and 2, 2018 for continuation of trial.