N4.9bn Fraud: EFCC Re-Arraigns Fani-Kayode, Others

Fani-Kayode

Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, a fierce critic of President Muhammadu Buhari and his government was on Monday re-arraigned, alongside three others, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for an alleged fraud of N4.9bn before the Federal High Court Lagos.

Following his objection to being tried by Justice Muslim Hassan of the same court before whom he was earlier arraigned on June 28, 2016, the former minister for aviation, was re-arraigned before a new judge, Justice Rilwan Aikawa,

A former Minister of State for Finance, Senator Nenadi Usman; who was listed as the one defendant in the charge, one Danjuma Yusuf and a company, Joint Trust Dimensions Limited were equally re-arraigned alongside Mr. Fani-Kayode before Justice Aikawa.

They face 17 counts charge bordering on conspiracy, unlawful retention of proceeds of theft and money laundering.

Fani-Kayode, ex-Director of Publicity of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential campaign organisation for the 2015 election, was accused of conspiring with the others to, directly and indirectly, retain various sums, which the EFCC claimed they ought to have reasonably known were proceeds of crime.

In one of the counts, the defendants were accused of conspiring among themselves to “indirectly retain the sum of N1,500, 000,000.00″.

They were also accused of indirectly retaining N300m, N400m and N800m, which the EFCC alleges are all proceeds of corruption.

The offence was said to have been committed between January 8 and March 25, 2015, in the build-up of the 2015 general election.

The defendants equally pleaded not guilty as they had earlier done before Justice Hassan.

Justice Aikawa then allowed them to continue on the bail earlier granted them by Justice Hassan, following the application of Usman’s lawyer, Mr. Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN).

He adjourned till June 6 and 9 for the commencement of trial.

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