The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) has on Tuesday re-arraigned a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode before a Lagos Federal High Court, over charges bordering on laundering N4.6 billion.
Fani-Kayode was re-arraigned alongside former Minister of State for Finance, Senator Nenadi Esther Usman and Yusuf Danjuma, a former National Chairman, Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON).
Also charged with them is a limited company, Jointrust Dimentions Nigeria Limited.
The defendants were re-arraigned on a 17-count amended charge of money laundering.
Their re-arraignment was sequel to the transfer of the case file to a new trial judge, Justice Daniel Osiagor.
They were formery arraigned before Justice Sule Hassan, who ‘recused’ himself after being accused of being a former EFCC’s prosecutor.
Following Justice Hassan’s recusal, their case file was re-assigned to Justice Rilwan Aikawa following an application by counsel to Fani-Kayode, Mr Norrisson Quakers.
Shortly after the case was transferred, Justice Aikawa was transferred to another jurisdisction of the court, following while their case file was again trqnfered to Justice Osiagor.
Addressing the court at the resumed hearing of the charge today, the prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, urged the court to take the plea of the accused.
After the charge was read to the defendants, they all pleaded not guilty.
Following their ‘not guilty’ plea, Justice Osiagor ruled that the defendants should continue on their previous bail conditions and adjourned the case till March 11, 2022, for trial.
In the charge, the accused were alleged to have committed the offences between January and March 2015.
In counts one to seven, they were alleged to have unlawfully retained over N3.8 billion which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act of stealing and corruption.
In counts eight to 14, the accused were alleged to have unlawfully used over N970 million which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of an unlawful act of corruption.
In counts 15 to17, Fani-Kayode and one Olubode Oke, who was said to be at large, were alleged to have made cash payments of about N30 million in excess of the amount allowed by law and without going through 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 the amount allowed by law.
All the offences were said to contravene the provisions of sections 15 (3) (4), 16 (2) (b), and 16 (5) of the Money laundering (prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.