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Court discharges ex-president Jonathan’s physician

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An FCT High Court yesterday dismissed asix-count charge bordering on abuse of office preferred against Dr. Fortune Feberesima, a chief physician to former President Goodluck Jonathan. The Ecomomic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) accused Fiberesima of awarding contracts valued at N258.9 million and N36.9 million, respectively to a company where he had interests.

The contracts were reclamation of land at the State House Medical Centre for N358.9 million and supply of medical consumables at N36.9 million. EFCC said the offence contravened sections 12 and 19 of Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.

Justice Peter Affen, in his ruling on the defendant’s no case submission, held that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against the defendant. Affen said the charges against the defendant were that he abused his office as a public servant and awarded contracts to companies he had interest in. He held that the prosecution did not establish the essential ingredients of the element of the offences he was charged.

 

“Mere suspicion alone without concrete evidence is not enough to prefer a charge against a defendant. “There was no evidence before the court showing the defendant’s appointment letter from the Civil Service Commission or anyone to demonstrate that he was a public servant.

 

“A political appointment is not the same as a civil servant,” he held. He held that the testimony of the prosecution’s first and second witnesses affirmed that the defendant did not play any role in the award of the said contracts. “I, hereby, discharge the defendant of all offences in the six count charges.”

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