The alleged petrol subsidy fraudster Seun Ogunbambo could not attend his own trial due to sustained spinal cord injuries, the Ikeja High Court has learnt.
Lawyer Mobolaji Akintunde said his client had been hospitalized after falling in his bathroom and sustaining injuries.
“In a sister case that came up last year, we informed the court that he was sick and indisposed. We have brought a medical report to that effect,” Mr. Akintunde said. “We undertake to produce him as soon as he is well.”
Rotimi Oyedepo, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, however, said that the defence’s submission is a “calculated attempt to frustrate this case.”
“My learned friend gave me a piece of document few minutes ago. In the document, we don’t know who signed it, there is nothing to show that the person who signed it is a medical doctor. The date the patient was admitted is not stated, the ailment is not stated,” said Mr. Oyedepo. “The disposition of the first defendant in this case is becoming a dangerous precedent in that he is indirectly seeking a stay of proceedings behind the door.”
The trial judge, Adeniyi Onigbanjo, adjourned till February 10 and directed the prosecution to take the medical report to the hospital and verify his claims.
It will be recalled that Mr. Ogunbambo, Habila Theck, and their company Fargo Energy Limited are accused of N979.6 million fuel subsidy fraud.
Mr. Onigbanjo was first declared wanted six months ago by the EFCC after the judge issued a bench warrant for his arrest. After filing an application to transfer his trial to another judge, the suspect had continually failed to attend court proceedings.