Fani-Kayode’s money laundering trial continues Thursday

Femi Fani-Kayode

Mr.  Fani-Kayode was first arraigned sometime in December, 2008 before Justice Ramat Mohammed on a 47-count charge.

A former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, standing trial on charges of money laundering is to be arraigned on March 6.

He is to be arraigned before Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court, Lagos.

Ms. Ofili-Ajumogobia on February 10 upheld the submission of Festus Keyamo, the Prosecuting Counsel.

Mr. Keyamo had filed an application, seeking the court’s permission to re-arraign Mr. Fani-Kayode on a fresh 40-count charge of money laundering.

But the Defence Counsel, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ifedayo Adedipe, while opposing Mr. Keyamo’s application, said the court lacked competence to entertain the matter because the prosecution
failed to disclose sources of the alleged laundered monies.

However, in her ruling, Ms. Ofili-Ajumogobia upheld Mr. Keyamo’s submission. She said that the failure to disclose the source of the money was not fatal to the case.

Ruling that the court was competent to adjudicate on the fresh 40-count charge against the accused, Ms. Ofili-Ajumogobia ordered the re-arraignment of Mr. Fani-Kayode on March 5.

At the resumed hearing of the case, the court adjourned the matter to March 6 at the instance of the prosecution.

Mr. Fani-Kayode was first arraigned in December 2008 before Justice Ramat Mohammed on a 47-count charge.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail for N200 million with two sureties in like sum.

The former minister was again re-arraigned before Justice Binta Murtala-Nyako, after the transfer of Mohammed.

Mr. Ajumogobia is now the third judge to hear the case in the past five years, with the EFCC dropping seven counts from the original 47-count charge.

In the charge, the accused is alleged to have transacted funds exceeding N500,000 without undergoing due financial process.

The EFCC is also accusing Mr. Fani-kayode of receiving cash payments of about N100 million as Minister of Aviation and later Minister of Culture and Tourism.

The prosecution said the offence contravened the provisions of Sections 15(1) (a) (b) (c) (d) and 15 (2) (a) (b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004.
Mr. Fani-Kayode, a vocal critic of the Jonathan administration, has denied all the charges and accused the federal government of persecution.


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