Femi Fani-Kayode, former Minister of Aviation, failed to appear in court on Wednesday for his ongoing corruption trial because, according to Norrison Quakers (SAN), his counsel, he had been diagnosed and hospitalised with a heart-related ailment.

Norrison pleaded with Justice Rilwan Aikawa to adjourn the hearing to enable him furnish the court with medical records proving Fani-Kayode’s illness.

It is no longer strange for high-profile public officials to take ill as soon as they are charged with corruption, and the ‘trial sickness’ syndrome became more pronounced with the anti-corruption campaign of President Muhammadu Buhari, even though many say it has been largely one-sided.

Given that Fani-Kayode, who is very popular on the social media, posted a tweet just four days ago, it suffices to say that he either tweeted from a hospital bed or he was admitted after that day.

Here are seven more high-profile public officers who became ill and needed to travel abroad for treatment after they were charged with corruption.

DIEZANI ALISON-MADUEKE

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Majority of the ongoing corruption trials have a link to Diezani Alison-Madueke, former Minister of Petroleum Resources, who allegedly oversaw the distribution of billions of naira as bribes for the 2015 general election.

Alison-Madueke has been joined as co-defendant in several ongoing trials across the country, with many of her assets home and abroad frozen. However, she won’t come home to face her trial, as she is said to be in the United Kingdom purportedly receiving treatment for cancer. That was what Nigerians were told.

In 2015, Dele Momodu, ace journalist and publisher of Ovation Magazine, shared pictures he claimed to have taken with an emaciated Alison-Madueke in London, as proof of her illness.

But just last weekend, another picture surfaced on the social media, purportedly showing Alison-Madueke at an African Market in London. This recent development has cast a doubt on the authenticity of her cancer claim.
Meanwhile, The BOSS newspaper, which Momodu launched with the Diezani cancer story, has not published a single print edition since then.

Anyway, speedy recovery madam!

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