The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, last night, deployed its detectives to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital to monitor the condition of a fuel subsidy suspect, who is awaiting sentencing by a judge in relation to a N1.9 billion million fraud.
The deployment of the detectives to the hospital ward is to enable the detectives to keep watch over Mrs. Adaoha Ugo – Ndagi, who collapsed last Friday before being sentenced for alleged fraud in the oil subsidy scandal that rocked the country in 2011.
Ugo-Ndagi, who is the Managing Director of Ontario Oil and Gas Limited, was about to be sentenced by Justice Lateefa Okunnu of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja on Friday along with Walter Wagbatsoma and another suspect for defrauding the Federal Government to the tune of N1.9 billion when she slumped and was rushed to a private hospital.
The health crisis of the suspect prompted the judge to shift her sentencing to Monday.
However, a top official of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said last night that the agency had deployed its detectives to watch over the health condition of the suspects to avoid her escape from the hospital
The top official explained that the commission was mindful of a similar case involving a top banker who feigned illness to avoid being sent to jail and ended up enjoying comfort in a five-star hospital instead of the prison yard to pay for her crimes.
“We have mobilised our men to take over the place so that we don’t give her an undeserving leeway to escape being sent to jail to account for her financial crimes against the government and people of Nigeria. “Of course, we are mindful of what a top banker did some years ago when she claimed she was almost dead and in the process escaped being sent to jail and the rest is now history,” the official said without naming the suspect involved. When the case was called on Monday, the counsel to the suspect, Y.K. Kadiri, told the court that his client was still lying prostrate in hospital after she broke down in the court room last Friday.
Kadiri said that they had obtained a medical report from the first hospital that treated the woman and an interim medical report from LUTH but could not secure an affidavit in support of the reports due to time constraints.
But the EFCC’s lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs, who is prosecuting the case dismissed the health condition of the suspect as a ruse and asked the court to take the so-called medical reports with a pinch of salt.
According to him, ‘‘On Friday, when we left this court, my client proceeded to the private hospital, where the second defendant was admitted to. She was playing very well at the hospital. ‘‘Some EFCC’s officials were also at the hospital to keep watch over her from Friday to Saturday.
‘‘The doctor said he was going to discharge her on Friday. But on request, we heard she was transferred to the LUTH.
‘‘My Lord, you know the antecedent of the defendant in this case. I urge my Lord to take the medical report with great caution. This is just a ploy to see that the convict does not go to prison.’’
After listening to both counsels, Justice Okunnu ordered the counsel to the second defendant to file in a medical report from the LUTH accompanied by a sworn affidavit within official hours today.
The medical doctor, who is attending to the convict at the LUTH, was also ordered to swear to an affidavit stating the medical condition of the convict as of today.
The judge also ordered the Lagos State Commissioner of Police to keep the second defendant under watch at any medical facility she may be until she is taken to prison. The case has been adjourned to January 18, 2017 for further proceedings and pronouncement on the sentence.