The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday amended the money laundering charge it filed against former Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode at a Federal High Court in Lagos.
At the hearing, Festus Keyamo, the prosecution counsel, notified the court about the amended charge which contains 40 counts. He also applied that the plea of the accused person should be taken. In the amended charge, the amount involved was put at about N 99 million as against the N 230 million earlier mentioned in the old charge.
After first count had been read to the accused, defence counsel, Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), raised an objection that the charge was invalid and his client could not plead to it. He argued that the count stated that the accused “accepted cash payments of over N10 million,” without stating the donor of the said money. He said it was alleged throughout the charge that the accused “accepted various sums of money,” without mentioning the names of the persons from whom they were received.
The counsel submitted that the charge was “invalid, persecutory and oppressive.”
The prosecuting counsel however argued that the charge bordered on money laundering in which monies involved had no source as opposed to conversion or stealing where there was a particular source. He submitted that he was prepared to file a written address on the issue.
Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, who is the third judge hearing the matter ruled that both parties were at liberty to either file written addresses or address the court orally on the issue.
It will be recalled that there had been a ruling against the appearance of lawyers from the chambers of Festus Keyamo as the fiat to prosecute the case was given to him in personal capacity, as such, nobody else could be allowed to appear on his behalf for the case.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that she adjourned the case to February 3 for ruling.