Fani-Kayode ill, counsel tells court
Mr Norrison Quakers (SAN), counsel to former aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, on Wednesday told a Federal High Court in Lagos that his client was ill and unable to be in court for the day’s proceedings.
Fani-Kayode, who was also the Director of Publicity of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s 2015 Presidential Campaign Organisation, is facing a N4.6 billion fraud charge at the court.
He is charged alongside a former Minister of State for Finance, Sen. Nenadi Usman ; a former National Chairman of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Yusuf Danjuma, and a company, Jointrust Dimensions Nigeria Ltd.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) preferred a 17-count charge of laundering about N4.6 billion against the accused.
They had each pleaded not guilty.
Quakers, on Wednesday, promised to furnish the court with a medical report to back Fani-Kayode’s claim of ill health, and urged the court to grant an adjournment in his favour.
The request for adjournment was not opposed by the prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo.
He, however, urged the court to observe the provision of Section 396(4) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, which stipulates that no party, in a criminal case, could have more than five adjournments.
Oyedepo noted that already, the case had been adjourned twice at the instance of the accused.
After listening to counsel, Justice Mohammed Aikawa adjourned the case until Feb. 28, March 1 and March 2, for continuation of trial.
The EFCC had arraigned the accused on charges bordering on conspiracy, unlawful retention of proceeds of theft and money laundering.
They 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 counts eight to 14, 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 and 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.
All offences contravened the provisions of Sections 15 (3) (4), 16 (2) (b), and 16 (5) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.