Judge’s absence stalls arraignment of Fani-Kayode

Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode

Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode

• EFCC arraigns AVM Mamu over N5.9m bribe

The absence of Justice Sule Hassan of the Federal High Court, Lagos, yesterday stalled the arraignment of the former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The former minister, who was the Director of Media and Publicity in the campaign committee of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, is charged with money laundering together with three others: Nenadi Usman, Danjuma Yusuf and a company, Joint Trust Dimension Nigeria Ltd.

The EFCC preferred a 17-count charge against the accused bordering on unlawful retention, use and payment of money in the tune of about N4.9 billion.

The trial judge is said to be attending an official function.

The accused were however, present in the court, but had to be taken back to the EFCC’s custody.

A new date of arraignment would be communicated to the parties by the court.

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 other counts, 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.

Meanwhile, in counts 15 to17 Fani-Kayode, together with one Olubode Oke who is said to be at large, were alleged to have made cash payments of about N30 million, in excess of the amount allowed by law, without going through a 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 amounts allowed by law.

According to the prosecutor, all the offences contravened the provisions of sections 15 (3) (4), 16 (2) (b), and 16 (5) of the Money laundering (prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.

Meanwhile, the EFCC yesterday arraigned Air Vice Marshal Alkali Mohammed Mamu before Justice Salisu Garba of the FCT High Court, Abuja on a three-count charge of bribery.

According to a statement by the EFCC, Mamu, while being the Air Officer Training Command and member of committee for procurement under the Ministry of Defence, allegedly collected a cash gift in the sum of N5.9million (five million, nine hundred thousand naira) for the purchase of a Range Rover Evoque, $300,000 (three hundred thousand US dollars) and two vehicles (Ford Expedition SUV and Jaguar XF Saloon) valued at N15million and N12million respectively from Societe D’ Equipments Internationaux Nigeria Limited, a contractor with the Nigerian Air Force.

The offence is contrary to section 17 (a) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under section 17(c) of the same act.

Justice Garba, after listening to both counsel adjourned to July 1, 2016 for ruling on the bail application and commencement of trial. The defendant is to be remanded in prison custody.

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