By Adejuwon Osunnuyi
A Lagos High Court has ordered the Lagos State Commissioner of Police to keep Adaoha Ugo-Ndagi, who collapsed last Friday in court when she was convicted of a N744 million fuel subsidy scam, under watch pending when she would be transferred to prison.
Justice Lateefa Okunnu gave the order following the absence of the convict in Court on Monday.
The judge also ordered the Medical Directors of Havana Hospital, Surulere and the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), to both swear to an affidavit of means, clearly stating her health status.
It would be recalled that Ndagi, oil mogul, Walter Wagbasoma and their company, Ontario oil and Gas were convicted by the court for their roles in a N744m subsidy fraud brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
At Monday’s proceedings, counsel to Ndagi, Y.A Kadiri had explained to the court the reason his client’s was absent, though the court had already slated Monday to sentence the convicts.
“When she collapsed on Friday, she was rushed to Havana Hospital where she was placed on life support and oxygen. The prison officials were with her throughout Friday and on Saturday she was referred to LUTH where she is currently receiving treatment,” Kadiri told the court.
Kadiri thereafter presented a copy of the medical report from Havana Hospital as he also informed the court that they were also trying to get the medical report from LUTH.
However, reacting to the medical report, EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Jacobs reminded the court of the antecedence of the matter, adding that the first convict, Wagbasoma had told the court that he was recuperating at the National Hospital Abuja when it was uncovered that he was actually at Germany, despite the fact that his internationals passport was with the Chief Registrar.
“We are aware that the convict was at Havana where the prison officials and some EFCC operatives kept watch over her. The prison officials were however not comfortable with the private hospital and she was transferred to LUTH on request,” Jacobs told the court.
Jacobs however added that as at Friday, Ndagi was in stable condition and doing very well, while asking the court to pronounce sentencing in the absence of the convicts.
In her ruling, Justice Okunnu noted that there seems to be a lacuna in the law as to the sentencing of convicts in absentia.
She therefore reserved the sentencing and ordered that the Commissioner of police to keep Ndagi under watch.
“The medical report presented by the second convict must be accompanied by an affidavit which must be filed today. The medical Director must also swear to an affidavit stating her exact medical condition,” she ruled.
The matter has been adjourned till Wednesday for possible sentencing.
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