Alleged money laundering: Nigerian government persecuting me for dumping PDP, Fani-Kayode says

Femi Fani-Kayode

Mr. Fani-Kayode was charged in 2008

A former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, who is facing trial for money laundering, has attributed his ordeal to a smear campaign allegedly orchestrated by the federal government.

Mr. Fani-Kayode, who was also a former Culture and Tourism Minister, said that the campaign reached a crescendo after he quit the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, for the All Progressives Congress, APC.

“The truth is that for the last five years Chief Fani-Kayode has been subjected to the most hideous and vicious persecution by the Federal Government simply due to his political beliefs and his outspoken views yet he has courageously risen to the occasion and he has refused to be intimidated, cowered or silenced,” Mr. Fani-Kayode said in a statement issued on Tuesday by Kola Olapoju, his lawyer. “This is despite the fact that the Federal Government, through their incessant and relentless persecution, has sought to make life as uncomfortable for him as possible, to smear his good name, to strip him of his dignity and to diminish his status.”

Mr. Fani-Kayode, a lawyer, was first arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a 47-count of money laundering in 2008 before Justice Ramat Mohammed. In 2012, Mrs. Mohammed was transferred out of the Lagos division and the matter handed over to Justice Binta Nyako. In 2013, Mrs. Nyako was also transferred out of the division paving the way for Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia to take over the trial.

“Each time these same charges are presented he has had to be re-arraigned and he has had to take a fresh plea,” his lawyer lamented. “This has been onerous, harrowing and vexatious to the spirit, but Chief Fani-Kayode, being a law-abiding citizen who has done everything possible to co-operate with the courts and who has nothing but the highest level of respect for the judiciary, has continued to weather the storm and go through the legal processes and he has never publicly complained, written or spoken about his travails in court. This is because he believes in due process and, being a lawyer himself, he respects the courts and accepts the fact that matters that are sub-judice should not be discussed.”

After he was re-arraigned before Mrs. Ofili-Ajumogobia in January, 2013, Mr. Fani-Kayode’s lawyers began to contest the fiat empowering the prosecution to handle the matter on behalf of the Attorney-General of the Federation. The defence insisted that the fiat singled out Festus Keyamo, the lead prosecution counsel, to appear before the court and not any other lawyer from his chambers. The judge ruled in the defence’s favour.

Last month, Mr. Keyamo appeared to lead the prosecution, but with an amended 40-count charge. Again, the defence raised objections, arguing that the charges were “vague” since the prosecution did not state whom their client received money from in the money laundering allegation. This time Mrs. Ofili-Ajumogobia overruled them, noting that it was immaterial to mention the source of the money. The judge fixed March 5 for Mr. Fani-Kayode’s re-arraignment.

“Chief Fani-Kayode has absolute confidence in the Nigerian judiciary, is more than ready to take his plea and will continue to present a vigorous defence to what are essentially baseless, malicious and politically-motivated charges which he has been fighting for the last five years,” Mr. Olapoju said.

Mr. Fani-Kayode further called on the media to always do the necessary research and to get their facts right in the reportage of his trial proceedings.

“The charges for which he will be re-arraigned on March 5 are not fresh charges and are nothing new. They are exactly the same old money laundering charges that the prosecution filed in 2008 except for the fact that seven counts have been removed and the charges have been reduced to 40 counts as opposed to 47 and the fact that the amount of money alleged to have been laundered has been reduced from N230 million to N99 million.

“It is also important to take note of the fact that even though this matter has been prosecuted by Mr. Festus Keyamo since 2008, he did not obtain a fiat to prosecute the case as is required by law until June, 2013 from the Attorney General of the Federation. It ought to be noted that it was only after Chief Fani-Kayode left the PDP and joined the APC in May, 2013 that the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice saw fit to grant Keyamo a fiat to prosecute the case.

“We leave it to the public to make their own deductions about this curious and sudden desire by the A-G (Attorney-General) to grant a fiat for a prosecution that he and his predecessors in office were reluctant to do for five good years,” Mr. Olapoju said.


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  • festus Esangbedo

    You are lying Kayode your trial started with yar adua:s government and you have not decamped then.We have memory in this country so don’t try to twist facts.

    • Wahala dey.

      Fani crackode is a thief and a liar. Every thief is a liar. Fani powder stole billions. He is on trial for being a thief. He decamped to the All Propaganda Party because the government is fighting corrupt officials like him.
      He should take his own bitter pill and go to jail like a man because he is a thief. shikina.

      • Ukpabi Aniebo

        this man is a drug addict or else how can he forget that in 2008 Yar’adua was in office and he was PDP and APC didn’t exist until last year. What is Jonathan’s own? Was it not EFCC under Yar’adua that confiscate his passport so why is he calling Jonathan? It is surely the hard drugs that has destroyed his mind.

    • Es3

      With hard drugs and mental challenge like the one plaguing him, his hallucinations made him to assume that we all have suffer from short memory or selective amnesia like him (and some others) who would agree with him?!

      Femi “fanny” Kayode left PDP about mid-way last year for APC due to the refusal of EFCC to drop the case against him. From commencement of the case till date, every other court keep insisting that he has a case to answer and this ‘additional APC liability’ called Femi is yet to sober enough to realize that he may as well end in jail (and rightfully so) at the end of the day???!

      Simple advice to all: Learn from Femi’s case study and avoid hard drugs with all that is within you!!!

  • Afam

    Mr liar Fani Kayode,you was of no use in PDP before and after 2007..face your corruption cases where you used the money meant for upgrading our airports to chase women..Where you failed the same woman you have been calling names is excelling…Bloody looter,I wish you hard luck in jail soon.

  • John

    As lawyer Femi you should know that court judgement us never obtained on the pages of news papers. During Obasango’s regime you are not a known PDP heavyweight and have never been. Why not be quiet until you are declared innocent.

  • Truthometer

    Decamp back to PDP and your case shall turn to “family affairs” and your supposed sins against the state shall be forgiven. At least, you can see Bankole and Stella Oduah enjoying their loots. PDP!!! Share the money!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • max

    It is my own opinion that Efcc should change Festus Keyamo because he is a card carrying member of APC.
    Femi has been struggling too hard to get the attention of Jonathan through all sorts of senseless articles. But Jonathan has completely ignored him. Femi has provoked Jonathan in many ways just trying to hit headline the least reply he got was when Abati called him commentator without sense.
    I wonder why Femi think of himself important for FG to persecute him. I am very much sure that Jonathan don’t know if Femi Kayode exist.
    You can imagine this lunatic saying that FG is trying to diminish his status which status?

  • beddy chibs

    There is always a time for judgement and accountability.Please defend yourself from the allegations against you if you are a saint.