Money Laundering: Court adjourns Fani-Kayode’s trial

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A Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday adjourned till 11 November the trial of former minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, standing trial on charges of money laundering.

Fani-Kayode, a former Minister of Aviation, is being tried for an amended 40-count charge bordering on money laundering by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

NAN reports that the suit which was earlier fixed for hearing of addresses of counsel, on Tuesday suffered another adjournment.

No reason was, however, given for the adjournment. The court’s registrars only informed parties that the suit had been scheduled for a further date.

NAN also reports that the EFCC had opened its case on March 10.

It called a total of six witnesses including Investigating Police Officers, bank legal officer, relationship officer and a former aide to Fani-Kayode.

All witnesses had given testimonies as to their relationship with the accused as well as the manner of investigations conducted on him.

The EFCC closed its case on 10 July, while counsel to the accused, Mr Wale Akoni (SAN), informed the court of his intention to file an application for a no-case submission on behalf of the accused.

The judge had adjourned the case to take addresses from counsel. Fani-Kayode was first arraigned sometime in December 2008 before Justice Ramat Mohammed on a 47-count charge.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge and Justice Mohammed granted him bail in the sum of N200 million with two sureties in like sum.

He was rearraigned before Justice Binta Murtala-Nyako following the transfer of Mohammed from the Lagos Division.

The accused was again rearraigned before Justice Ajumogobia on 11 February 2013 after the transfer of Murtala-Nyako.

On 6 March, he was rearraigned before Ajumogobia following the amendment of the 47-count charge to 40-count with the EFCC dropping seven of the counts.

Ajumogobia is the third judge to handle the case in the last five years.

In the charge, the accused was to have carried out transactions with funds exceeding N500, 000 without going through a financial institution.

The accused was also alleged to have accepted cash payments to the tune of N100 million, while he held sway as Minister of Aviation and Minister of Culture and Tourism respectively.

The offences contravened the provisions of Sections 15(1), (a), (b), (c), (d) and 15 (2) (a), (b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004.

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