EFCC: Fani-Kayode Gets New Date For Money Laundering Trial

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday adjourned till November 11 the trial of ex-Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, who is standing trial for alleged money laundering.
Fani-Kayode, a former Minister of Aviation, is being tried for an amended 40 counts bordering on money laundering by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The suit, which was earlier fixed for the hearing of addresses of counsel, today suffered another adjournment. No reason was, however, given for the adjournment.
The court’s registrars only informed parties that the suit had been scheduled for a further date. EFCC had opened its case on March 10.
It called a total of six witnesses including Investigating Police Officers, bank legal officer, relationship officer and a former aide to Fani-Kayode.
All witnesses had given testimonies as to their relationship with the accused as well as the manner of investigations conducted on him.
The EFCC closed its case on July 10, while counsel for the accused, Mr Wale Akoni (SAN), informed the court of his intention to file an application for a no-case submission on behalf of the accused.
The judge had adjourned the case to take addresses from counsel.
Fani-Kayode was first arraigned sometime in December 2008 before Justice Ramat Mohammed on 47 counts.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge and Justice Mohammed granted him bail in the sum of N200m with two sureties in like sum.
He was re-arraigned before Justice Binta Murtala-Nyako following the transfer of Mohammed from the Lagos Division.
The accused was again re-arraigned before Justice Ajumogobia on Feb. 11, 2013 after the transfer of Murtala-Nyako.
On March 6, he was re-arraigned before Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia following the amendment of the 47 counts to 40 counts with the EFCC dropping seven of the counts.
Ajumogobia is the third judge to handle the case in the last five years.
In the charge, the accused was alleged to have carried out transactions with funds exceeding N500, 000 without going through a financial institution.
The former Minister had explained on an AIT programme on Sunday how he was being persecuted for being vocal in his resent for maladministration in government. He said his tenure as Aviation minister came under the searchlight of government agencies in a desperate quest to nail him for his non-conformist role in government by his distractors. He said he inherited about N9b in the coffers of the ministry and left over N7b at the time he was leaving.
According to him, his penchant for exposing the ills in government and hypocrisy of some characters in All People’s Congress APC had made him a target for ridicule and name-calling by his political adversaries.
Fani-Kayode who spoke glowingly of former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, however, admitted that the third term agenda was the albatross of the Obasanjo’s administration. He disclosed that his problem with Obasanjo stemmed from his holding a contrary view about the former leader’s third term agenda. .
He however explained that he returned to his PDP family because those anomalies that precipitated his leaving for APC had been corrected by the Jonathan administration as he urged all well-meaning Nigerians to support Jonathan to continue the good work he’s doing beyond 2015.
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Author: News Editor

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