N4.9b scam: Court orders trial of Femi Fani-Kayode to commence today

N4.9b scam: Court orders trial of Femi Fani-Kayode to commence today

Friday, October 21, 2016 12:34 pm



By Akin Kuponiyi

A federal high court sitting at Ikoyi south west Nigeria today ordered that the trial of former Aviation minister Mr. Femi Fani-kayode; former Finance Minister, Nenadi Esther Usman and one Danjuma Yusuf alleged to have been involved in N4.9 billion money laundering, should commence today.

The order of the presiding judge, Mallan Sule, was sequel to an application filed and argued before the court by the defense counsels seeking an adjournment to enable the former Minister and the other two accused persons ample time to prepare their defense, on the ground that the proof of evidence serve on the defense counsel did not contain the statements of the witnesses.

The application was vehemently opposed by EFCC prosecutor Mr Rotimi Oyedepo who urged the court to start trial today.

However, Justice Sule in his ruling dismissed the application as being mere technicalities, and a ploy to further delay the trial of the accused persons, as a witness set to be called by the prosecution has his statement attached to the prove of evidence. In addition, the witness can give his evidence today for the court to adjourn till a later date for cross -examination. Consequently as of the time of filling this report the trial is in progress as the first witness has been called to start giving his evidence.

Fani-Kayode, Usman and Dajuma are being tried before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on a 17 count-charge of unlawful retention, unlawful use and unlawful payment of money to the tune of about N4.9 billion.

The three accused persons, and a limited liability company, Joint Trust Dimension Nigeria Limited, were alleged to have commited the offences between January and March 2015.

Fani-Kayode, who was also a Director of Media and Publicity of the campaign committee of ex President Goodluck Jonathan, and Nenandi Usman, former Finance Minister under Jonathan’s administration, and Danjuma Yusuf, had all pleaded not guilty to the charges. They are currently on bail.

The offences according to the EFCC are contrary to and punishable under sections 15 (3) (4), 16 (2) (b), and 16 (5) of the money laundering (prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012

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