Corruption Cases & Sick Defendants: Poor health status or malingering?

The familiar scenery in courtrooms of ex-office holders being persecuted is one rife with many medical complaints, from diagnosis of cancer to heart ailments, as far as being brought into hearing on a stretcher.

With the present anti-corruption war going on in Nigeria by President Buhari-led administration, office holders, both serving and past, facing corruption charges have either found a soft sell to gain the sympathy of the general public or suddenly lost health.

Sambo Dasuki

Dasuki is a retired Nigerian Army Colonel and appointed the National Security Adviser (NSA) to Ex-President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, following the removal of General Owoye Andrew Azazi.

He has been in custody since his arrest by the State Security Service (SSS) in December, 2015, for illegal possession of firearms and alleged involvement in diverting funds dedicated to procuring arms for fighting the Boko Haram insurgency.

The $2,000,000,000, (two billion dollars) arms deal scandal, popularly known as “Dasukigate” was named after him, being the alleged mastermind of the fraudulent financial transactions.

Prior to his incarceration, in November same year, he requested permission to travel abroad from a Federal High Court in Abuja, to enable him seek medical attention for his deteriorating health due to his diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Last year, he also said to have poor memory condition as a result of his prolonged imprisonment, despite being granted bail by four different High Court judges in Nigeria and ECOWAS Court.

Oliseh Metuh

A chieftain of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was arrested on January 5, 2016, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for his alleged involvement in the Dasukigate scandal.

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Records available show Metuh receiving over #400,000,000 (four hundred million naira), as his share of the arms deal.

Although there has been series of medical excuses from him, the latest display on February 5, 2018, saw him being brought for hearing on a stretcher with a neck collar.

Many however did not key in the reason Metuh was brought in stratcher to Court.

On thursday January 15, Metuh’s lawyer explained why he could not be in Court and presented a Doctor’s letter. In response the Prosecution asked that Metuh’s bail be revoked and that he be arrested.

Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, threatened to arrest Metuh if he is not in Court, in whatever condition, by February 5.  This is why Metuh was brought into Court with a National Hospital Ambulance. But many without the background story, consider this yet another political drama.

Diezani Alison-Madueke

She is the first female President of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and former Minister of petroleum resources under Ex-President Jonathan’s administration.

Alison-Madueke is facing series of corruption charges, home and abroad.

According to PBS News Hour special Correspondent, Nick Schifrin, the international community alleges that she might have personally overseen the theft of $6,000,000,000, (six billion dollars), equivalent to about #1.2trillion.

Charged with complicity in $20,000,000,000, missing from the petroleum agency, Former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi corroborates the charges, while alleging that $2,000,000,000 went missing from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) under Alison-Madueke’s management.

She faces charges of awarding multi-billion Naira contracts with disregard for due process, reckless spending of public funds, among others.

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The Nigerian Senate indicted Alison-Madueke in October 2009 and she was officially charged by the EFCC for 2015 electoral malpractice.

In October 2015, she was reportedly arrested in London by the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA), with four others, on suspicion of bribery and corruption.

In August 2017, a Federal High Court sitting in Nigeria confiscated about #7.6 billion from bank accounts connected to Alison-Madueke.

The following month after her arrest in London saw pictures and reports of her being treated for breast cancer making headlines.

Femi Fani-Kayode

Mr. Kayode was appointed Minister of Aviation under the Olusegun Obasanjo’s government, and later worked as Director of Publicity for Ex-President Jonathan’s 2015 campaign organization.

Fani-Kayode is facing a 17-count money laundering charge, alongside three others (Senator Nenadi Usman, Yusuf Danjuma, Joint trust Dimension Nigeria Ltd), by the EFCC.

However, court proceedings are being stalled due to a plea by his legal representatives, Quakers, on grounds of a heart ailment.

This was misrepresented as a Heart Disease by the mainstream media and Mr. Fani-Kayode came hard on the media for not knowing the difference between an Ailment and a disease.

ETN24 spoke to Dr. Dazumi Ahmad who considers the term “Heart Ailment” strange, as do most medical practitioners. Ailment is used mostly in describing a disorder which is mild but may also be Chronic. Disorders having to do with the heart cannot be considered a mild medical issue.

Chimaroke Nnamani

This former Governor of Enugu State from 1999 to 2007 and Senator (2007-2011) also faces EFCC’s prosecution for money laundering, to the tune of over #4,000,000,000, while he was Governor.

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All companies involved in the charge pledged guilty but the trial of the Ex-governor and one other has been on hold since 2007 due to his frequent traveling abroad to treat an “heart ailment” for which he had a “heart surgery” in the US 10 years into the case.

His lawyer could not present a mediacal report but claimed his client is bedridden in the United States.

Nnamani’s lawyer presented a picture of their Client recuperating in the US but the EFCC alleges it is a picture that has been in circulation since 2014. The Judge, who is the fourth in the case, was visibly angry.

In December 2017, he ordered Nnamani’s arrest. An arrest that is yet to be carried out.

Cecilia Ibru

She is former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of defunct Oceanic Bank, Matriarch of one of Nigeria’s largest conglomerates.

In October 2010, a Federal High Court found her guilty of bank and security fraud, including negligence and reckless granting of credit facilities.

Sentenced to six months imprisonment and forfeiture of assets and monies worth about 1.2billion dollars, Ibru’s legal counsel, Taiwo Osipitan (SAN), pled for leniency on account of her ill health.

She had two fainting episode during the judgment, which Osipitan said was caused by her “congestive heart failure and chronic hypertension”

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Corruption Cases & Sick Defendants: Poor health status or malinge…

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