Former Minister of Finance, Nenadi Usman and that of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, are to Remanded in prison till Friday, July 1, when their bail applicatios filed by their counsels will be heard.
A Federal High Court in Lagos thus ordered that two former Ministers be remanded in prison custody.
The two ex-ministers as well as Danjuma Yusuf and a firm, Jointrust Dimensions Nigeria Limited, were on Tuesday arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a 17-count charge bordering on conspiracy, stealing, corruption and making cash payments exceeding the amount authorized by law.
Mrs. Usman was the director of finance of the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organization in the 2015 election, while Fani-Kayode served as the Director Media and Publicity of the Campaign Organization.
They were alleged to have stolen and illegally disbursed about N4.9 billion belonging to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to all the charges preferred against them.
The Prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, informed the court that he was prepared to proceed with the trial at any date of adjournment.
Meanwhile, counsels to the first and second accused, Ayo Adedipe (SAN) and Fred Orbih, told the court that a bail application had been filed on behalf of the defendants.
But counsel to the third accused, S.I. Ameh, said he had yet to file a bail application. Responding, Oyedepo, informed the court that he had only been served with the application of the first and second accused, adding that he required time to reply.
Justice Sule Hassan, in a short ruling, adjourned the case to July 1 for hearing of the bail applications.
The Judge, however, ordered that the defendants be remanded in prison custody pending determination of their bail applications.
The accused were alleged to have committed the offences between January and March 2015.
On counts one to seven, they were alleged to have unlawfully retained about N3.8 billion which they “reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act of stealing and corruption.’’
On counts eight to 14, the accused were alleged to have unlawfully used about N970 million which they “reasonably ought to have known formed part of an unlawful act of corruption.’’
Meanwhile, on counts 15 to17, Fani-Kayode, together with a man, Olubode Oke, still at large, were alleged to have made cash payments of about N30 million in excess of the amount allowed by law without going through a financial institution.
Besides, Fani-Kayode, was alleged to have made payments to one Paste Poster Co. (PPC) of No. 125, Lewis St., Lagos, in excess of amounts allowed by law.
The offences, according to the EFCC, contravene the provisions of Sections 15 (3), (4), 16 (2), (b) and 16 (5) of the Money Laundering (Prohibitions) (Amendment) Act, 2012.