The Honourable Justice Salisu Garba of FCT High Court 2, sitting in Maitama, Abuja has ordered that one Mr. Oluwole Fayiga, an employee of the Federal Ministry of Health be remanded in Kuje Prison for evading trial.
The order was premised on an oral application made by counsel to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Mr. Iliya Ashom, for the revocation of a bail that had been granted to the accused, because he had jumped bail twice.
Mr. Fayiga was earlier granted administrative bail by ICPC, but disappeared into thin air until the Commission’s investigating team re-arrested him somewhere in Remo, Ogun State.
Thereafter, he was arraigned in court but could not meet the conditions of the court’s bail as spelt out by the judge and was remanded in prison. Subsequently, his counsel applied for a variation of the bail conditions, which was then granted by the court.
At the commencement of trial, the defendant, Fayiga, claimed his supposed voluntary statement was made under duress. Consequently, the case was stood down for a trial-within-trial by the judge.
In spite of that, the defendant and his counsel refused to appear in court on two occasions, sending letters only on the morning of one of the adjourned dates claiming to have been bereaved.
In view of this apparent disregard for the court, ICPC’s counsel made an oral application for the revocation of the accused person’s bail, which the judge graciously granted and issued a Bench Warrant for his arrest before the case was further adjourned to a later date.
However, before the new adjourned date, the defense filed a motion seeking to restore his client’s bail but, in a swift reaction, the prosecution filed a counter-motion for the status quo to be maintained, noting that the defendant had jumped bail twice.
On the new adjourned date, the defendant and his counsel attended court, and having heard the submission of each counsel, the judge ordered that the accused be remanded in prison custody while the case was adjourned with accelerated hearing in mind
It is noteworthy that Mr. Fayiga had earlier been arraigned by the Commission for criminal conspiracy, fraud, forgery, false representation and abuse of office, thereby violating Sections 12, 16 and 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
He, allegedly, had conspired with others and through impersonation of some members of staff of the Federal Ministry of Health, fraudulently obtained loans with forged documents from Messrs Credit Direct Limited, (a subsidiary of First City Group), thereby defrauding the company to the tune of Two Million, Nine Hundred and Sixty-Eight Thousand Naira (N2,968,000.00).