Wednesday, April 26, 2017

EFCC Arraigns Jonathan’s Former Doctor, Fortunate Fiberesima, For N258M Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arraigned Dr. Fortunate Fiberesima, the ex-Chief Physician to former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The EFCC said in a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, that Fiberesima, who is also a former Chief Executive Officer, State House Medical Centre, was arraigned for an alleged fraud of N258.9m.

The doctor was arraigned before Justice Peter Affen of the Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja on six counts bordering on money laundering.

Fiberesima was alleged to have abused his position as the chief physician to the President in 2012 in awarding a contract to a company where he had an interest.

According to the anti-graft agency, the defendant, who also parades himself as Fortunate David and David ThankGod Fiberesima, was initially meant to be arraigned by the EFCC on March 7, but the trial judge observed that, “all the charges are under the ICPC Act and not that of the EFCC” and consequently ordered that the charge be either amended or transferred to the appropriate authority for prosecution.

At the resumed sitting on Tuesday, the defendant pleaded not guilty to all the charges preferred against him by the EFCC.

One of the charges read,  “That you, Dr. Fortunate Fiberesima (a.k.a. Fortunate David and David ThankGod Fiberesima), being the former Chief Executive Officer of the State House Medical Centre, Abuja and Chief Physician to the President, while employed in the public service, sometime in 2012, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, knowingly and directly held a private interest in the contract for land reclamation at the State House Medical Centre, Abuja in the sum of N258,950,000, which contract was awarded to T. E. & C Limited, a company in which you were a director, and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 12 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.”

Counsel for the defendant, U. B. Eyo, prayed the court to grant his client bail in liberal terms. He said the accused person had no previous criminal record and he would always be available for his trial.

Counsel for the EFCC, Y. Y. Tarfa, did not oppose the bail application.

Justice Affen ordered that the defendant should continue on the bail condition earlier granted him but added that he should submit his passport to the court registrar.

The case was, thereafter, adjourned till June 6, 2017 for commencement of trial.

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