Wednesday 19 October 2016

Judge’s absence stalls Fani-Kayode, Usman’s money laundering trial - TheNation

The Federal High Court in Lagos Wednesday adjourned till October 21, the trial of a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode and former Minister of Finance, Nenandi Usman, following the absence of presiding judge, Justice Sule Hassan.

Justice Hassan was said to be away on official assignment.

Fani-Kayode, a former director of media and publicity, campaign committee of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and Usman are standing trial for alleged money laundering alongside Mr. Danjuma Yusuf and a firm, Joint Trust Dimension Nig. Ltd.

They were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on June 28, on a 17-count charge bordering on unlawful retention, unlawful use and unlawful payment of money to the tune of about N4.9 billion.

They each pleaded not guilty to the charge and we’re granted bail.

According to the charge, they committed the alleged offences between January and March 2015.

In counts one to seven, they were accused of unlawfully retaining 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, they 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 was said to be at large, were accused of making 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 Street, Lagos, in excess of amounts allowed by law.

All offences were said to have contravened Sections 15 (3) (4), 16 (2) (b), and 16 (5) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.

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