Court Orders Re-Arraignment Of Fani-Kayode Over Money Laundering Charges

Channels Television  
Updated February 10, 2014

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos today ruled that the former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode must take his plea to the money laundering charges filed against him.

The court dismissed the objections raised by his counsel that the charge was invalid.

The former minister has an amended 40 count charge of laundering about N100m leveled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

At the last sitting of the court on the 27th of January, the arraignment of the former minister on the amended charge was stalled after his counsel argued that the charge was not valid.

The defence counsel, Mr Ifedayo Adedipe, who relied on section 167 of the Criminal Procedure Act argued that the failure of the EFCC to name the source of the money rendered the charge vague, persecutory and oppressive.

The prosecuting counsel, Mr Festus Keyamo however countered by submitting that the very essence of a crime of money laundering is that the money has no origin and its source cannot be explained.

In her ruling today on the arguments, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia agreed with Mr Keyamo. She held that it was an abject misconception for the defence counsel to raise objections to the validity of the charge.

The court was also of the view that it was enough to state that the former minister received money as the inability to trace the source of the money did not in any way invalidate it.

Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia has fixed the 5th of March for the re-arraignment of the former minister.