Home News Fani Kayode’s trial is reopened by the EFCC

Fani Kayode’s trial is reopened by the EFCC


A Federal High Court in Lagos was informed by an investigating officer with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Shehu Shuaibu, that the N4.6 billion that was allegedly transferred into a joint trust account was used to fund the former president Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential campaign.

The witness further revealed that the funds were moved into the Joint Trust account after being paid from the State House to the Ministry of External Affairs’ account.

In testimony before Justice Daniel Osiagor during the trial of the former minister of finance, Senator Nenadi Usman, the former minister of aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, and two other defendants for alleged money laundering and other fraud-related offenses, the IPO provided this information.

The witness said during cross-examination by Mr. Ferdinand Orbih (SAN), counsel for the former finance minister, that his EFCC Special Task Force team did not invite Jonathan during their investigations.

The witness acknowledged that the first defendant, Nenadi Usman, served as the campaign organization’s director of finance, while the second defendant, Fani-Kayode, served as the director of media and publicity.

He responded, “No, we did not invite him, as the President was not the one that expended the money,” when asked why he did not ask Jonathan to confirm or deny whether the funds deposited into the Joint Trust account were used for his campaign or not.

He responded, “To the best of my knowledge, I do not know whether individuals who put money into the Joint Trust Account were charged to court or not,” when asked why people who transferred money into the Joint Trust account were arrested and punished. Since I do not practice law, I cannot speculate as to why they have not yet been charged in court.

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He did, however, acknowledge that the money was paid by Nebolisa Emodi, the Permanent Secretary of the State House, who had been questioned by his team but had not been brought to justice.

The witness said that he did not look into the defendants for stealing, therefore he would not know if they took the money or not, when asked to identify people who stole the money for which the defendants are on trial.

The witness initially claimed that the money was stolen, but when presented with a Certified True Copy of the Proceedings before Justice Rilwanu Aikawa, who was in charge of the case before he was transferred out of Lagos, he changed his story.

The witness said, “I did not look into any money that was stolen, and I never used the word stolen; what I meant was that the money was unlawfully moved.

After that, Justice Osiagor put the case on hold until tomorrow, Friday, so that the trial may continue.

Nenadi Usman, a former minister of state for finance, Yusuf Danjuma, a former chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), and Jointrust Dimensions Nigeria Ltd. are also defendants in Fani-prosecution. Kayode’s

17 counts involving conspiracy, illegal retention of stolen property revenues, and money laundering are brought against the defendants.

Fani-Kayode, who served as the director of publicity for the former president Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential campaign organization for the 2015 election, was charged with conspiring with others to retain money that they knew to be proceeds of crime, according to the EFCC, both directly and indirectly.

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They had all entered not guilty pleas to the charges, and the court had given them bail.

The defendants were first and then again accused in front of Justices Muslim Hassan and Rilwan Aikawa as the trial got underway.

The case was then given to a new trial judge, Justice Daniel Osaigor, after the previous trial judge, Justice Aikawa, was transferred out of the Lagos division of the court, and the defendants had to reopen the case from scratch (de novo).

The offenders were accused of committing the offenses between January and March 2015 in Lagos, according to the accusation.

They were accused of illegally keeping more than N4.9 billion at various points in time, money they knew or should have known was coming from illegal theft and corruption.

In counts 15 to 17, Fani-Kayode and a man named Olubode Oke—who is reportedly still at large—were accused of paying N30 million in cash to a company called Paste Poster Co (PPC) of No. 125 Lewis St. in Lagos.

The claimed payments were made without going through a financial institution and were in excess of what was permitted by law.

Sections 15 (3) (4), 16 (2) (b), and 16 (5) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 were allegedly violated by the offenses.


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