Femi Fani-Kayode, erstwhile Aviation Minister, was taken away from the court premises on Tuesday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) following his corruption case was adjourned until January 24, 2022.
Persecondnews.com reports that while Fani-Kayode was still on the corridor of the court after the day’s proceedings, an EFCC investigator, Mr A. Shuaibu and the prosecutor had walked up to him and thereafter followed the EFCC operatives to their office in his car.
At the time of filing this report, Fani-Kayode was still in the EFCC custody being quizzed over falsification of/forged documents.
Fani-Kayode is standing trial with a former Minister of State for Finance, Mrs Nenandi Usman, on alleged N4.6 billion money laundering before Justice Mohammed Aikawa.
Other defendants are Yusuf Danjuma, a former Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) and a company, Jointrust Dimensions Nigeria Ltd.
They are being prosecuted on a 17-count charge of money laundering for which they pleaded innocence and were granted bails in the sum of millions of naira.
Justice Aikawa had begun their trial in Lagos and witnesses being led in evidence before he was transferred out of Lagos.
It was subsequently re-assigned to a new judge, Justice Daniel Osaigor, and the defendants were scheduled for re-arraignment on October 27, 2021.
Fani Kayode was, however, absent in court as the defence counsel, Mr Fred Ajudua, told the court that he was on admission at Kubwa General hospital in Abuja.
But the EFCC prosecutor, Mrs Bilikisu Buhari, reminded the court that Fani-Kayode had always given the same excuse to evade appearance in court.
After flipping through the court’s records, Justice Osiagor recalled that Fani-Kayode had sent in a similar letter of excuse five times.
The court had consequently ordered the defendant to be present in court on the next date without fail and ordered him to pay a fine of N200,000.
When the matter came up today, all the defendants were present.
Counsel to second, third and fourth defendants, Morrison Quakers (SAN), and Clement Onwuenwunor, also announced their appearance.
The first defendant’s counsel Chief Ferdinard Orbih, was absent, following a letter to that effect.
The prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo did not oppose the letter of the first defendant counsel.
Oyedepo however, informed the court that the prosecution was glad that the court had figured out from its record that the second defendant (Fani Kayode) had sought repeated excuses from the court.
He told the court that the prosecution had recently discovered that all letters sent by Fani-Kayode were fake.
The court stopped the prosecutor on the grounds that it was a matter the agency ought to thrash out before the court acted on the letters to grant an adjournment.
Osiagor said that having granted an adjournment on the letters, the court had become functus officio.
In response, Oyedepo told the court that the agency was currently working on the report and will do the needful.
Persecondnews recalls that the defendants had committed the offences between January and March 2015.
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.
The defendants were also alleged to have unlawfully used over N970 million which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of an unlawful act of corruption, all in violation of Sections 15 (3) (4), 16 (2) (b), and 16 (5) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) (Amendment) Act 2012.
Femi Fani-Kayode, erstwhile Aviation Minister, was taken away from the court premises on Tuesday by the EFCC following his corruption case