Alleged N4.9bn Fraud: Case Against Fani-Kayode, Others To Continue March 15

Alleged N4.9bn Money Laundering: Trial Of Fani-Kayode, Others Stalled
File photo: Mr Femi Fani-Kayode

 

The Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos has fixed March 15, to rule on whether to admit in evidence 108 Zenith Bank cheques allegedly recovered by the EFCC during the course of investigating the case against the former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, and three others.

The court fixed the date after entertaining the arguments of lawyers on the admissibility of the documents.

The counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, had sought to tender the 108 cheques through the third prosecution witness, Shuaibu Shehu, an investigator with the Commission.

Read Also: General Elections: Umahi Alleges Plot To Bomb INEC Council Offices In Ebonyi

But the counsel to Mr. Fani-Kayode, Mr. Norrison Quakers resisted the move, asking the court to reject the documents on the basis that they did not comply with Section 379 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 and the Practice Direction of the Federal High Court 2013.

After listening to the parties, the court fixed March 15 for its ruling and for continuation of trial.Trial judge, Justice Rilwan Aikawa also granted a former Minister of State for Finance, Nenadi Usman, permission to embark on a trip to the United States.

Justice Aikawa ordered that the former minister’s passport be released to her so she could embark on the trip.

Mrs Usman, Fani-Kayode, Danjuma Yusuf and a company, Joint Trust Dimensions Limited are facing 17 counts bordering on conspiracy, unlawful retention of proceeds of theft and money laundering.

PDP Has No Links With Cambridge Analytica, Election Manipulation – Fani-Kayode

 

Former Media Director for Nigeria’s Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan Campaign on Sunday said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has no links with Cambridge Analytica and was not involved in hacking information during 2015 election.

Femi Fani-Kayode, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Programme, Sunday Politics, said the PDP during the 2015 Presidential election did not involve in digging into personal information of its opponents as claimed.

“As far as the presidential campaign organisation is concerned, we have absolutely no links whatsoever with this company or with anybody that seeks to do anything that is illegal or criminal or to undermine any government or anyone that wants to run for an electoral position in this country,” he said.

Cambridge Analytica, a UK-based company in a wake of controversies has earlier been accused of obtaining data of Facebook users for election manipulation.

A whistle-blower, who is an ex-employee of Cambridge Analytica had claimed that the firm interfered in Nigeria’s 2015 elections by hiring hackers to dig information about President Muhammadu Buhari who was a candidate of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).

The whistle-blower in an interview with Guardian UK did not reveal the identity of the person who paid Cambridge Analytica for its services but described him as a Nigerian businessman who wanted to ensure former President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election.

Fani-Kayode, who played a significant role as a director in Jonathan’s Campaign Team, said further that President Jonathan enjoyed a lot of goodwill from friends and therefore the name of the billionaire should rather be revealed than allegations thrown at the PDP.

“At no point was the PDP Campaign organisation mentioned or anybody that was the member of the PDP mentioned in this allegation. The report had no evidence to suggest the Jonathan was involved.

“I know former President Jonathan enjoyed a lot of goodwill in a number of places. What the report said was that a billionaire who was Jonathan’s friend and a couple of his agents met them and asked them to find information in an illegal manner.

“I think what should be done is to establish the name of this Nigerian billionaire and pose these questions to them and not to us,” he added.

READ ALSO: TY Danjuma’s Allegation: PDP Asks International Community To Help Nigeria

Revealing how the PDP got information about Buhari’s medical and academic record that the PDP vehemently pointed out during the 2015 election campaigns, Fani-Kayode attribute this to his prowess as a historian and a professional who ask a lot of questions.

He clearly pointed out that the PDP is not in the business of hacking into people’s personal information data or employing others to do so.

Fani-Kayode Asks Buhari To Resign After Congratulating Him On His Birthday

Fani-Kayode Asks Buhari To Resign After Congratulating Him On Birthday
File photo

 

A former Minister of Aviation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to resign as a birthday gift to Nigerians.

Before calling for his resignation, the former minister, however, congratulated the President on his 75th birthday.

Fani-Kayode, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is seen by many as one of President Buhari’s critics since his party lost to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 elections.

READ ALSO: Fayose Congratulates Buhari At 75, Wishes Him ‘The Best’

Meanwhile, Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has put away his political variation with the President to congratulate him on his 75th birthday.

The governor also commended the progress made so far by the President in moving Nigeria forward, saying he believes he would do more in good health.

He also called on Nigerians to pray for President Buhari and prayed that God spares his life for the country.

Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, also sent congratulatory messages to the President.

While Saraki wished him the blessings of the Almighty and continued wisdom and grace to celebrate another year, Dogara hailed him for his leadership.

Return To PDP, Fani-Kayode, Murray-Bruce Tell Atiku

Return To PDP, Fani-Kayode, Murray-Bruce Tell Atiku
File photo

Former Minister of Aviation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, has appealed to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

This comes hours after the former vice president resigned from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on Friday.

Fani-Kayode, as well as the senator representing Bayelsa East Senatorial District, Ben Murray-Bruce, urged Atiku to come back to the PDP to help build the party.

Also, former acting chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus, congratulated the former presidential candidate for leaving the APC and asked him to return to his party to help regain the trust of Nigerians.

Atiku was the vice to former President Olusegun Obasanjo when Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999.

He left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the APC in February 2014, after joining the PDP following his defeat at the presidential election of 2007 on the platform of the then Action Congress.

While he was in the PDP, he also declared his intention to contest for the Presidency in 2011 but lost to former President Goodluck Jonathan.

 

Fani-Kayode’s Trial: Jonathan’s Campaign Organisation Owes My Company N24m – Witness

Rivers Killing: Court Remands Police Officer Over Suspect's Escape
File photo

The Managing Director of Paste Poster Company Limited, Mr Olusegun Idowu, has alleged that ex-president Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign organisation owes his company N24m for the printing of posters for the 2015 presidential election.

This sum, according to him, was part of a total of N54m poster pasting and consultancy jobs which his company did for the campaign organisation in the build-up to the last general elections.

Mr Idowu made the claims on Wednesday while giving evidence before the Federal High Court in Lagos, where the then Director of Media and Publicity of the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, is being prosecuted for an alleged fraud of N4.9bn.

Idowu, a media consultant, was the first witness called by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to prove its case against Fani-Kayode and three others.

He said his company was paid N30m cash in tranches of N6m and N24m for consultancy and printing of the ex-president’s campaign posters, while another N24m remained unpaid till date.

 

While being cross-examined by Fani-Kayode’s lawyer, Mr Norrison Quakers (SAN), Idowu told the court that his company got the poster printing job from the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation through referral by a member of the organisation, Aderemi Ajidahun.

The media consultant, whose company’s office is on Lagos Island, said one Mr Oke related with his company on behalf of the campaign organisation.

He said his company received the cash payments of N24m and N6m from Oke.

When asked by Quakers whether he had any direct dealing with Fani-Kayode, Idowu said he never had any direct dealing with him.

The case was adjourned till November 20, 21 and 22 for the continuation of trial.

Standing trial alongside Fani-Kayode for the alleged fraud relating to the ex-president’s campaign is a former minister of state for finance, Nenadi Usman, as well as one Danjuma Yusuf and a company, Joint Trust Dimensions Ltd.

The defendants were arraigned before Justice Rilwan Aikawa on 17 counts bordering on conspiracy, unlawful retention of proceeds of theft and money laundering.

They, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In the charges, Fani-Kayode was accused of conspiring with the other defendants to, directly and indirectly, retain various sums which the EFCC claimed they ought to have reasonably known were proceeds of crime.

The defendants, in one of the counts, were accused of conspiring among themselves to “indirectly retain the sum of N1,500, 000,000.00, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: stealing.”

They were also accused of indirectly retaining N300m, N400m, and N800m, which according to the anti-graft agency, were all proceeds of corruption.

EFCC said they allegedly committed the offence between January 8 and March 25, 2015, ahead of the 2015 general elections.

N4.9bn Laundering Allegation: Fani-Kayode To Be Tried In Lagos

Femi Fani-Kayode, Court, EFCC

Justice Rilwan Aikwa of the Federal High Court in Lagos has ruled that the money laundering case of N4.9 billion against Femi Fani Kayode will be heard in the Lagos Federal High Court.

The court stated that the case cannot be transferred to Abuja because the Chief Judge had reassigned the case from justice Muslim Hassan to him and that if the Chief Judge wanted to transfer the case he would have.

The court further stated that some of the transactions in question happened in Lagos, therefore the Federal High Court has jurisdiction over the case.

READ ALSO: CJ Reassigns Fani Kayode”s Suit To Another Judge

The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, had earlier reassigned the case involving the former Minister of Aviation to Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court in Lagos, following the withdrawal of Justice Muslim Hassan from the suit in March 2017.

Fani-Kayode had earlier approached the Federal High Court in Lagos to hands off his trial on allegations of money laundering.

His Counsel, Norrison Quakers, SAN, asked Justice Rilwan Aikawa to instead order that the case should be transferred to the Abuja division of the court.

Alleged N4.9bn Fraud: Fani-Kayode Challenges Court’s Jurisdiction

Fani-Kayode
File Photo of Fani-Kayode in court

A former Minister of Aviation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, has asked the Federal High Court in Lagos to hands off his trial on allegations of money laundering.

His Counsel, Norrison Quakers, SAN, asked Justice Rilwan Aikawa to instead order that the case should be transferred to the Abuja division of the court.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had re-arraigned Mr Fani-Kayode, Senator Nenadi Usman, and two others on 17 counts of fraud and money laundering to the tune of N4.9bn. They pleaded not guilty.

Mr Fani Kayode insists that the facts of the case show that all the transactions which the former minister carried out as Director of Media and Publicity of the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, for which he was charged, took place in Abuja.

He also told that court that he stays in Abuja and has another trial currently going on in Abuja which should be the proper venue for the case.

The EFCC’s lawyer Rotimi Oyedepo, however, urged the court to refuse the application.

Justice Aikawa has adjourned until September 26 and 27 for a ruling on the issue.

Court Grants Ex-Finance Minister, Usman Permission To Travel Abroad

File photo: Ex-finance Minister, Nenadi Usman

The Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos has granted the request of a former Finance Minister, Senator Nenadi Usman, to be allowed to travel to the USA for a period of three weeks for medical treatment.

Justice Rilwan Aikawa granted the request on Wednesday when the court commenced trial in the case against her, the former Director of Media and Publicity of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, and two others.

Usman, Fani-Kayode, one Danjuma Yusuf and a company, Joint Trust Dimension Nig. Ltd, are facing trial on 17 counts of money laundering and alleged diversion of N4.9billion preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission

The Chief Registrar of the court has been directed to release her international passport to enable her travel within the months of July and August. She is to return the passport to the court not later than the 31st of August.

Meanwhile, Justice Aikawa held that an application filed by Mr Fani-Kayode challenging the venue of the proceedings could not stall the commencement of trial.

The EFCC had contended that the application seeking a transfer of the case to Abuja was a ploy to stall the trial and had urged the court to take it alongside the substantive suit.

The court upheld this argument and commenced trial with the testimony of the first prosecution witness, one Olusegun Idowu.

The trial will continue on June 9, 2017.

Alleged N4.9bn Diversion: Trial Of Fani-Kayode, Others Commences

Femi Fani-Kayode, Ayodele Fayose, EFCC
File photo

The Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos has commenced trial in the case against the former Director of Media and Publicity of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, and three others

Presiding Justice Rilwan Aikawa held that an application filed by Mr Fani-Kayode challenging the venue of the proceedings could not stall the commencement of trial.

The EFCC had contended that the application seeking a transfer of the case to Abuja was a ploy to stall the trial and had urged the court to take it alongside the substantive suit.

The court upheld this argument and commenced trial with the testimony of the first prosecution witness, one Olusegun Idowu.

Mr Fani Kayode; a former Finance Minister, Nenadi Usman; one Danjuma Yusuf and a company, Joint Trust Dimension Nig. Ltd, are facing trial on 17 counts of money laundering and alleged diversion of N4.9billion preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission

The court today also granted the request of Senator Nenadi Usman to be allowed to travel to the USA for a period of three weeks for medical treatment.

The Chief Registrar of the court has been directed to release her international passport to enable her travel within the months of July and August. She is to return the passport to the court not later than the 31st of August

The trial will continue on June 9, 2017.

Alleged N26m Fraud: Counsel’s Absence Stalls Fani-Kayode’s Trial

Alleged N26m Fraud: Counsel's Absence Stalls Fani-Kayode's TrialThe trial of a former Minister of Aviation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode was stalled on Tuesday at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, due to the absence of the lead defence counsel, Mr Ahmed Raji on the ground of ill-health.

When the matter was called, Mr Wale Balogun who represented Mr Raji in the court informed the trial judge, Justice John Tsoho that the lead counsel travelled abroad for medical treatment.

The Prosecution counsel, Johnson Ojogbane did not oppose the submission of the defence and the request for adjournment.

He, however, pointed out that the prosecution wanted a quick determination of the corruption case against the former aviation minister.

Mr Ojogbane prayed the court for a date in July before the court goes on vacation.

Justice Tsoho adjourned the case till July 7, 2017 for the continuation of trial.

Mr Fani-Kayode is facing trial for allegedly receiving the money from the Office of the National Security Adviser while he was the Director of Media and Publicity for the campaign organisation of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Alleged N4.9bn Diversion: EFCC Arraigns Fani-Kayode, Usman

Fani-Kayode
File Photo of Fani-Kayode in court

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has re-arraigned former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, and former Finance Minister, Nenadi Usman, before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

The two former ministers were arraigned before Justice Rilwan Aikawa alongside one Danjuma Yusuf and a company, Joint Trust Dimension Nig. Ltd, on 17 counts of money laundering and alleged diversion of N4.9bn.

They all pleaded not guilty after the charges were read to them.

The court then reaffirmed the bail earlier granted to them by former trial judge, Justice Muslim Hassan.

The defendants also brought up the issues of pending applications challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter.

The defendants want the matter transferred to Abuja where the offences were allegedly committed.

The EFCC submitted that this application had been decided by the previous judge but the defence submitted that the applications challenging the court’s jurisdiction were still alive.

Justice Aikawa adjourned the case to June 7 for ruling on whether the issue of venue of the trial is still alive.

CJ Reassigns Fani Kayode’s Suit To Another Judge

Fani-Kayode, EFCC ArrestsThe Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, has reassigned the case involving two former ministers, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode and Nenadi Usman.

Justice Auta reassigned the case to Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court in Lagos, following the withdrawal of Justice Muslim Hassan from the suit in March 2017.

Channels Television judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele, reports that Justice Aikawa has ordered that hearing notices be issued to all parties, and the case has been fixed for May 15.

The former Minister of Aviation, Fani-Kayode; former Minister of Finance, Nenadi Usman; one Danjuma Yusuf and a company, Joint Trust Dimensions Nigeria Limited, were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in June 2016 for alleged N4.9bn fraud.

They had all pleaded not guilty to the 17 counts charge levelled against them by the EFCC before Justice Hassan of the Federal High Court, Lagos.

Although trial had commenced in the matter with the testimony of a first prosecution witness, but there was a twist when the defence lawyers declined to cross-examine the witness.

Among other things, they challenged the morality of Justice Hassan to continue to preside over the matter, after having worked with the EFCC as a senior legal officer and a prosecuting counsel before his appointment as a judge.

In his ruling, Justice Hassan held that though no proof of bias was exhibited as evidence before the court, he would in the interest of justice refuse to take part in further proceedings on the matter.

He then ordered the return of the case file to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for reassignment to another judge.