By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
The Kubwa General Hospital, Abuja, has told the Lagos State Special Offences Court, Ikeja, that a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, was never a patient at the medical facility.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) had arraigned Fani-Kayode before Justice Olubunmi Abike-Fadipe on 12 counts of forgery.
The EFCC accused the former minister of forging medical reports to mislead the court and procuring documents under false pretences, contrary to Section 369 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
At the resumed proceedings on Wednesday, the Head of Medical Records at the hospital, Bassey Amah, while being led in evidence by counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, noted that Fani-Kayode did not have any record with the hospital.
He said: “On October 3rd, 2021, the Kubwa General Hospital received a letter from the EFCC to investigate the authenticity of a medical report on Mr Femi Fani-Kayode and the investigation by the hospital revealed that Mr Fani-Kayode does not have a record with the facility. The document is not authentic.”
Amah, who explained that the hospital never issued any medical report to the defendant, said: “As I said earlier, Mr Fani-Kayode is not our patient and has no medical report in our hospital. The name is not even found there.
“The doctor that signed the medical report is not our doctor. The number is not our hospital unit number.”
Earlier, Fani-Kayode’s counsel, Norrison Quakers (SAN), objected to the tendering of the letter of request by the EFCC to the hospital, dated October 3, 2021, and the response of the hospital, dated October 13, 2021,as exhibits.
Quakers objected on the grounds that the head of medical records was not the maker of the document.
“The witness introduced himself as Bassey Amah; he is not the maker. He can’t even give evidence on the document,” the lawyer said.
Responding, EFCC counsel, Oyedepo, said: “The document tendered is a public document. It emanated from the Kubwa General Hospital and the witness in the box has given evidence on oath. He has told how they received the document, how it was investigated and how the letter was prepared.”
Ruling on the admissibility of the documents, Justice Abike-Fadipe held that the hospital itself could not testify before the court.
She said: “I am not going to reject it because his name is not on it. If the maker is therefore not called at the end of the trial, I can then determine the weight to attach to the letter. I agree with you that he is not the maker; I agree with that.
“The letter was issued by the medical director. The hospital itself cannot come to give evidence and can only do so via one of the human personnel. I am satisfied that the witness in the box is competent to testify.”
The judge adjourned the matter till February 25, 2022.