Vibez: Fani Kayode, Dino Set For Nollywood Debut, Burna Boy Drops Odogwu And More

 

Following years of deft theatrics in political matters, former Minister of Aviation Femi Fani-Kayode is taking his animated persona into the world of make-belief, Nollywood.

Fani-Kayode made the revelation on his Twitter and Instagram handles. The popular government critic posted pictures of himself on set of the series titled ‘Silent Prejudice’ alongside veteran actor, Larry Coldsweat.

The Chris Oge Kalu-produced drama will also feature fellow politician and former Senator of the federal republic of Nigeria, Dino Melaye.

Find this story and others in this edition of the Vibez, your one-stop shop for all the most interesting lifestyle stories across the country and beyond.

Ex-Minister, Fani-Kayode To Make Acting Debut In New Nollywood Series

 

Nigerian politician, Oluwafemi Fani-Kayode has made his Nollywood debut in a series titled ‘Silent Prejudice’.

He took to social media on Monday, to make the announcement, noting that he would be making a cameo appearance in the series.

The former minister who shared photos of himself on set along with veteran actors, Larry Coldsweat and Obi Idejimba, said “being a thespian is no mean feat”.

He also gave kudos to those who take up acting full time, saying: “my respect for them is boundless” as it requires total dedication and focus.

According to Fani-Kayode, the movie which is being produced by Chris Oge Kalu, will also feature his wife as well as his friend, Senator Dino Melaye, among others.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I had the honor and privilege of joining some of the Nollywood greats like Larry Koldsweat, Obi Idejimba and T.T. Temple on set last Saturday and making a cameo appearance in my debut movie which is a series titled “Silent Prejudice”. We were on set the whole afternoon and, though gruelling, it was a great experience and tremendous fun! Many do not know just how hard actors work and the energy and discipline that goes into their craft. Being a thespian is no mean feat. It requires total dedication and focus and, having been through what I experienced on saturday, my respect for them is boundless. My friends, brothers, colleagues and fellow politicians Chief Dan Iwuanyawu and Senator Dino Melaye appear in the series as well, as does our respected and much-loved big brother Governor Chukwuemeka Ezeife, so I was not alone! Thankfully the producer, Mr. Chris Oge Kalu, guided us beautifully and taught us all we needed to know. My beautiful wife Precious (@snowhiteey) was also on set with us and encouraged me immensely. She appears in the movie too! Season 1 is already being aired on AIT on Wednesdays at 9.00pm and Season 2, in which I appear, will soon be aired. The series is about the evils associated with the Osu cast system and has the full.endorsement and participation of the Nigerian Human Rights Commission whose Executive Secretary, Mr. Tony Ojukwu, also makes an appearance. Please join us and find the time to watch it! See you then! @Obiidejimba @tt_temple001 @Larrykoldsweat @Chrisogekalu.cok

A post shared by Femi Fani-Kayode (FFK) (@real_ffk) on

Alleged N4.9bn Laundering: Trial Of Fani-Kayode, Others Resumes

A file photo of Mr Femi Fani-Kayode.

 

 

The trial of a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, as well as former Minister of Finance, Nenadi Usman, and two others on charges of fraud and money laundering resumed on Tuesday.

The case continued at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, with the cross-examination of the third prosecution witness, Mr Shehu Shuaibu, a witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In continuation of his testimony, Shuaibu told Justice Rilwan Aikawa under cross-examination that funds were illegally transferred from the Ministry of External Affairs into a private firm, Joint Trust Dimensions Ltd, without any contract being awarded.

The company is the fourth defendant in the N4.9 billion fraud trial brought by the anti-graft agency against Fani-Kayode and Usman, as well as Yusuf Danjuma who is a former Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON).

It is said to be the personal company of the third defendant, Danjuma.

The EFCC had charged the defendants with 17 counts for which they all pleaded not guilty and were subsequently granted bail by the court.

In answer to questions from the first defence counsel, Ferdinand Orbih, the witness told the court on Tuesday that as an investigator with the EFCC, he personally took the statements of the defendants.

The witness also testified that from his findings, there were huge inflows of money from the Ministry of External Affairs to the Account of Joint Trust Dimensions Ltd.

He said that he could find no trace of any contract between the firm and the ministry to warrant the payment of the funds.

Shuaibu, however, agreed with the defence counsel that the cash inflows into the account of Joint Trust was not limited to the ministry, as funds also came in from companies and individuals.

He confirmed “N500 million from Global Scan System Ltd on February 11, 2015; N300 million from Diamond Bank on January 30, 2015; N250 million from Castillo Torres BDC Ltd on February 11, 2015; N100 million from Afri Gate Energy Ltd; and N500 million from Chief Emeka Ofor on March 13, 2015.”

As to whether he was aware that the account was opened for the purpose of receiving donations for campaigns for the 2015 general elections, the witness said he was not sure if the funds were truly donations, as some of those who allegedly donated monies were still being investigated.

The judge, thereafter, adjourned cross examination in the case until February 26.

In the charge, the defendants 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 defendants were alleged to have unlawfully used over N970 million which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of an unlawful act of corruption.

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 in counts 15 to 17.

He was said 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 were said to have contravened the provisions of sections 15 (3) (4), 16 (2) (b), and 16 (5) of the Money laundering (prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.

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

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

 

The absence of one of the Defence lawyers has stalled the N4.9bn fraud trial of a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode at the Federal High Court in Lagos.

The counsel, Clement Onwuenwuenor, who is a lawyer to the third & Fourth defendant Danjuma Yusuf and Joint Trust Dimensions Limited, wrote to the court to seek an adjournment.

He said he was before the Court of Appeal in Lagos in respect of three criminal cases.

The former Aviation Minister, Fani-Kayode is being tried alongside a former Minister of State for Finance, Nenadi Usman; Danjuma Yusuf, and the firm, joint Trust Dimensions Limited.

READ ALSO: Two Suspects Arrested For Selling JAMB Forms Above Official Price

The defendants are facing 17 counts bordering on conspiracy, unlawful retention of proceeds of theft and money laundering.

Justice Rilwan Aikawa has adjourned the case till February 24 and 25.

Fani-Kayode, who was the Director of Publicity of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential campaign organisation for the 2015 election, was accused of conspiring with the others to, directly and indirectly, retain various sums which the EFCC claimed they ought to have reasonably known were proceeds of crime.

In one of the counts, the defendants 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.”

The four were also accused of indirectly retaining N300m, N400m and N800m, all proceeds of corruption, according to the EFCC.

Fani-Kayode was accused of directly using parts of the money at various times, including a N250,650,000.00, which he allegedly used between March 20 and 25, 2015.

Fani-Kayode was also accused of making a cash transaction of N24m with one Olubode Oke, said to still be at large, on February 12, 2015 “to Paste Poster Co of 125, Lewis Street, Lagos Island.”

The duo were said to have made the transaction without going through any financial institution, an act the EFCC claimed was contrary to sections 1(a) and 16(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012, and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.

The defendants pleaded not guilty.

I Would Rather Die Than Join APC – Fani-Kayode

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

 

 

A former Minister of Aviation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, has faulted the claims that he has defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In a series of tweets on Sunday, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain insisted that he remains a staunch member of the opposition party.

He described the report of his defection as “false and insulting,” adding that it was nothing but fake news.

Fani-Kayode, however, asked those sponsoring the report to bury their heads in shame, saying he would “rather die than” than join the APC.

He accused the ruling party of failing to protect the nation and its people, as well as faulted the government’s anti-corruption war.

READ ALSO: I Am Alive And Bubbling – IBB

“I am committed to opposing the APC and those that are in their ranks for the rest of my natural life and I will never join them no matter what!” the PDP chieftain said.

He stressed that he stands for light and truth, saying there can’t be any union between light and darkness.

Read two of the tweets below:

Alleged N4.6bn Money Laundering: EFCC Witness Testifies Against Fani-Kayode, Others

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

 

 

A prosecution witness, Mr Shehu Shuaibu, has told a Federal High Court in Lagos that the sum of N800 million was paid from the Ministry of External Affairs into the account of a company, Jointrust Dimension Ltd.

The witness, an investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), gave the testimony on Tuesday at the resumed trial of a former Minister of Aviation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, and others facing N4.6 billion money laundering charge.

Also charged are a former Minister of State for Finance, Nenandi Usman, and a former Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Yusuf Danjuma.

Jointrust Dimension Ltd is the fourth defendant.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest Over 5,955 Suspects, Rescue 826 In 2019

EFCC preferred a 17-count of money laundering against the defendants but all pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bail.

The anti-graft agency has since opened its case and the third prosecution witness, Shuaibu, was examined in chief.

The prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, continued the examination of the witness after the court had earlier rejected an objection to the admissibility of two documents tendered by the witness.

At the last adjourned date, the defence had objected to the admissibility of bank documents tendered through the witness on the ground that they were not legible and also not public documents.

Justice Rilwan Aikawa, however, rejected the objection on the ground that even if the witness was not the maker of the said document, they were gotten in the course of his investigation and therefore, admissible.

The court accordingly admitted and marked the documents as exhibits 15 and 16 respectively.

In continuation of his evidence, Oyedepo asked the witness to tell the court his findings during investigations.

The witness who first confirmed that exhibit E8 was the statement of account of Jointrust Dimension Ltd, told the court that investigations revealed that on January 16, 2015, the sum of N800million was paid into the account of the company.

He added that the money came from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) with the signatories to the account identified as two persons – Darbisu and Benjamin.

Shuaibu noted that the said signatories were former staff members of the MEA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, respectively, now working with the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

He told the court that on January 13, 2015, the sum of N400 million was paid from the MEA into the same account of Jointrust.

The witness explained that these monies were paid, whereas investigations revealed that there were no contracts between the ministry and the company to warrant such payment.

Under cross-examination, the defence counsel, Mr Ferdinard Orbih, asked the witness who was the author of the entries in Exhibit Eight and the witness replied that it was the MEA.

Orbih asked: “So you agree that neither of the defendants had any input in making the entries in Exhibit Eight” and the witness replied, “No, they don’t.”

When further quizzed to confirm if there exists in the said exhibit, words like the Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the witness said no but explained that the words were abbreviated to read MEA and MFA.

The witness also told the court that he had no knowledge if any of the defendants were employees of any investigation agency of the government.

Mr Orbih also asked the witness if the commission obtained statements from the signatories to Exhibit 16 and the witness’ response was, “Yes, they were invited to our office and their statements taken.”

On whether the said statements were frontloaded or made available to the defence, the witness replied, “I don’t know.”

The defence counsel then said, “I put it to you that the purported statements were not frontloaded to the defendants and not before this court?”

“I don’t know, I am not a lawyer and I am not the one that drafted the charges,” the witness responded.

After listening to the testimony and comments from both counsels, the judge adjourned until Thursday for the continuation of the trial.

In the charge, the defendants were alleged to have committed the offences between January and March 2015.

In counts one to seven, they were said to have unlawfully retained over N3.8 billion which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of unlawful acts 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.

Similarly, in counts 15 to17, Mr Fani-Kayode and one Olubode Oke 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, the former minister 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, according to EFCC, contravene the provisions of Sections 15 (3) (4), 16 (2) (b), and 16 (5) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.

Atiku, SERAP, Others Condemn Sowore’s Arrest

Akitu, SERAP, Others Condemn Sowore’s Arrest

 

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and other Nigerians have condemned the arrest of Mr Omoyele Sowore.

Some of the prominent citizens took to Twitter on Saturday to call for Sowore’s release hours after he was reportedly picked up by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).

In a post, the former vice president described the arrest as “kidnapping in the guise”, stressing that freedom of speech was part of the nation’s democracy.


For the Socio-Economic Right And Accountability Project (SERAP), Sowore’s unconditional release would be “first step to stop Nigeria’s precipitous human rights slide”.

On his part, a civil rights activist and former member of the Senate, Senator Shehu Sani, faulted those he described as political elites allergic to the freedoms they once stood for.

He also accused the so-called elites of sponsoring protest and attacks on human rights organisation, Amnesty International.


READ ALSO: DSS Arrests Omoyele Sowore


A former minister and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, also condemned Sowore’s arrest.

He said the arrest was unnecessary and uncalled for, adding that Sowore should be released immediately and unconditionally.

Similarly, former minister Oby Ezekwesili called on well-meaning Nigerians to stand with Sowore and defend his right and freedom to protest any matter of governance that worries him.


Sowore, an activist and publisher of online news platform SaharaReporters, was said to have been picked up at his apartment in the early hours of Saturday.

He made his arrest known via his Twitter handle at about 1:25 am.

A minute after, the former presidential candidate tweeted “Ja p” which, according to his news platform, confirms his phone must have been seized while trying to raise the alarm about his arrest.

The news website added that its publisher’s arrest was not unconnected to #RevolutionNow, a series of planned protests against bad governance in the country scheduled for August 5, 2019.

Mr Sowore contested the presidential election on the platform of the African Action Congress (AAC).


Read the tweets below:





Alleged Funds Diversion: EFCC Operative Testifies Against Fani-Kayode, Others

Alleged Funds Diversion: EFCC Operative Testifies Against Fani-Kayode, Others

 

An operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Shuaibu Shehu, has told a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos that a former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, received the sum of N350million from the Ministry of External Affairs through his Zenith Bank account without executing any project or rendering any service to the ministry.

Shehu is the third prosecution witness in the trial of the former Minister of Finance, Mrs Nenadi Usman, Mr Fani-Kayode, one Danjuma Yusuf, and a company, Joint Trust Dimensions Nigeria Limited, on allegations of laundering N4.6billion.

The EFCC witness told Justice Rilwan Aikawa that he became familiar with the charge against the defendants in February 2016, when a petition over the alleged fraudulent transfer from the ministry’s account was assigned to his team to investigate.

Led in evidence by the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, the witness stated that the sum of N800m was transferred from the Ministry of External Affairs to a company called Joint Trust Dimension Ltd without the company also executing any contract.

READ ALSO: Court Stops EFCC From Declaring Maina Wanted

Shehu further testified that Joint Trust Dimension Ltd was used to divert the funds by the defendants without any service rendered to the ministry.

He identified to the court various Zenith Bank cheques which were recovered in the cause of investigating the alleged fraud.

A move by the EFCC to tender some of the Zenith bank cheques allegedly used by Fani-Kayode for the withdrawal of the monies, however, met with stiff objections from the defence team.

Justice Rilwan Aikawa, thereafter, adjourned till Thursday to allow the defendants go through the proof of evidence with regard to the cheques.

The defendants are facing 17 counts bordering on conspiracy, unlawful retention of proceeds of theft and money laundering.

The first defendant in the case is Mrs Usman; Fani-Kayode is the second defendant while one Yusuf and a company, Joint Trust Dimensions Limited, were listed as the third and fourth defendants, respectively.

Fani-Kayode, who was the Director of Publicity of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential campaign organisation for the 2015 election, was accused of conspiring with the others to, directly and indirectly, retain various sums which the EFCC claimed they ought to have reasonably known were proceeds of crime.

In one of the counts, the defendants 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.”

The four were also accused of indirectly retaining N300m, N400m and N800m, all proceeds of corruption, according to EFCC.

Fani-Kayode was accused of directly using parts of the money at various times, including a N250,650,000.00, which he allegedly used between March 20 and 25, 2015.

Fani-Kayode was also accused of making a cash transaction of N24m with one Olubode Oke, said to still be at large, on February 12, 2015 “to Paste Poster Co of 125, Lewis Street, Lagos Island.”

The duo were said to have made the transaction without going through any financial institution, an act the EFCC claimed was contrary to sections 1(a) and 16(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012, and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.

The defendants have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Alleged N4.6bn Fraud: Witness Absence Stalls Fani-Kayode, Ex-Minister’s Trial

Alleged N4.6bn Fraud: Witness Absence Stalls Fani-Kayode, Ex-Minister’s Trial
File photo

 

The trial of two former ministers, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode and Mrs Nenadi Usman, on charges of N4.6 billion fraud allegations suffered a setback on Monday.

The trial could not continue today at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos due to the absence of the third witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The counsel for the EFCC, Mr Idris Mohammed, told the court that the witness, who resides outside the court’s jurisdiction, is pregnant and on bed rest as advised by her doctor.

He, therefore, asked the court to grant an adjournment. The defence team did not oppose the application for an adjournment.

Mr Ferdinand Orbih, counsel to the first defendant – Usman, then informed the court of a pending ex parte application which he wanted to move. The court obliged him.

In the application, Mrs Usman is seeking leave of the court to serve a motion on notice on the Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed, over alleged acts of contempt.

Her counsel told the court that the minister had published a list of looters some weeks ago and had mentioned her as number 19 on the list.

Orbih noted that his client took such act very seriously, claiming it was an attempt to interfere with the proceedings before the court and portray the first defendant as already guilty of the charges before the court.

He, therefore, urged the court to grant the ex parte application enabling the defence to serve the said motion on notice on the minister in Abuja, by substituted means, as personal service may not be feasible.

In a short ruling, Justice Mohammed Aikawa held: “I have perused the application, including the supporting affidavits and I am satisfied that the application ought to be granted.”

“The application is granted save that it should be served on his (the minister) confidential secretary in Abuja,” he added.

The court then adjourned till October 2 for hearing of the motion on notice and for continuation of trial.

Usman is being charged alongside Fani-Kayode, as well as one Yusuf Danjuma, a former Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), and a company, Jointrust Dimentions Nigeria Ltd.

The EFCC had preferred a 17-count charge of money laundering against the accused persons.

In the charge, the defendants 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.

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

The defendant had all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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

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

 

The trial of two former ministers, Femi Fani-Kayode and Nenadi Usman, did not go on at the Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos on Wednesday due to the absence of the third defendant, Danjuma Yusuf.

The trio are facing trial alongside a company, Joint Trust Dimensions Nigeria Limited, on 17 counts of alleged money laundering to the tune of N4.9billion preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The case was scheduled for the continuation of trial today but at the start of proceedings, the counsel to the third defendant, Kevin Nwofo, informed the court of the absence of his client.

Mr Nwofo also told the court that he received a call in the early hours of Tuesday from the wife of the third defendant, who informed him that her husband had slumped in the bathroom while having a shower.

He said the wife had called out neighbours who joined in taking the defendant to the hospital.

The defence counsel also mentioned that the incident occurred in Jere in Kaduna State and he had yet to travel down to get a copy of the hospital diagnosis.

He, however, promised to get details of the diagnosis from the hospital and make same available to the court.

Nwofo then followed this up with a request for an adjournment of the trial.

Other defence counsels supported the request for adjournment and the EFCC prosecutor, Nnaemeka Omewa, had no objections.

Justice Rilwan Aikawa consequently held that he would treat the request as exceptional as all the defendants have always showed up for their trial.

The court then vacated the prior trial dates of May 3 and 4 and adjourned till June 11 and 12 for the continuation of trial at the request of all parties.

I Return The Label Of Looter Back To Sender – Fani-Kayode

 

Former Media Director for ex-President Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, on Monday, reacted to the Federal Government’s list of alleged looters saying he returns the ‘label’ back to the sender.

Femi Fani-Kayode, in the list of alleged looters released by the Federal Government on Sunday, is alleged to have looted the sum of N866 million but in his reaction,  he said described this as a false claim.

“I wish to make it clear that this is nonsensical and utterly shameful, and I hereby reiterate the fact that I am totally innocent of any wrongdoing. I reject the false label of “looter” and I hereby return it to the sender.

“The Federal Government claims that I “looted” N800m from government coffers. This is false. I did not receive, and neither was I ever given one kobo by any government official, government agency or government parastatal during President Goodluck Jonathan’s tenure,” he said.

READ ALSO: Babangida Denies Receiving N1.6bn From Jonathan’s Govt

Fani-Kayode, who is also a former Minister, explained that the money given to him was by Director of Finance of the Jonathan Campaign Organisation, Esther Nenadi Usman was solely for the conduct of presidential elections campaign.

“Mrs Usman, who was Minister of Finance during the Obasanjo’s government,  was neither a member of Jonathan’s government and neither did she manage, handle or touch any government funds in her capacity as Director of Finance of the Jonathan campaign.

“The money she made available to me came from a private company account which was used to house contributions made to the Jonathan campaign by party supporters after series of fundraising event.

“These were private funds and not public funds and neither can anyone expect us to have run an election in 2015 without any money. You do not run election campaigns with sand but with money,” Fani-Kayode explained.

The prominent lawyer alleged that the Buhari administration’s war against corruption is selective and politically-motivated witch hunt adding that the released list is a violation of Nigeria’s constitution.

“Not only is this a violation of the constitutional provision that says that an accused person is deemed innocent until they are proved guilty by a duly constituted court of law but it is also highly prejudicial to the criminal cases that they are or may be facing.

“This is a crude and sordid attempt to intimidate the judges and influence the outcome of the cases which are before them and also to compel them to give the judgement that the government wants,” he claimed.

Fani-Kayode said it is the trite law that only a court of law can declare a man guilty or declare him a thief or a looter and not Buhari and his government. He questioned if anyone can get a fair trial in a country when the government has already pronounced them guilty before the world?

Alleged Money Laundering: Third Witness Testifies In Trial Of Fani-Kayode

Fani-Kayode
File Photo of Fani-Kayode in court

 

A third prosecution witness had testified in the trial of a former minister of aviation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, and three others for allegedly laundering N4.9billion.

The witness, Ms Sheelis Gana, gave her testimony on Thursday before Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court in Lagos.

Mr Fani-Kayode is standing trial on 17 counts alongside a former minister of finance, Mrs Nenadi Usman, one Danjuma Yusuf, and a company, John Trust Dimensions Nigeria Limited.

In the charges, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) accused the defendants of conspiracy, unlawful retention of proceeds of theft and money laundering.

Giving her testimony, Ms Gana who is a branch manager with Zenith bank told the judge that Fani-Kayode and one of his co-defendant, Joint Trust Dimensions Nigeria Limited, were customers of the bank.

Led in evidence by the EFCC Prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, the witness narrated how Mr Fani-Kayode opened an account with the bank in January 2015 during the build-up to the general elections.

She also took the court through several inflows and outflows which occurred on the account between January and March 2015.

Under cross-examination by one of the defence lawyers, Ferdinand Orbih, the witness told the court that one of the documents submitted by the bank to the EFCC during the course of the agency’s investigations was found to have been doctored by certain officials in her bank.

She disclosed that the anti-graft agency actually discovered the irregularity.

The witness added that apart from the document in question, she did not know whether there were other doctored documents in what the bank sent to the EFCC.

On certain transactions carried out on the accounts of Fani-Kayode and Joint Trust Dimensions Nigeria Limited, the bank manager said that though she did not personally handle the transaction, in her judgment, there was nothing unlawful about the transactions and this was why the bank ensured that they were successfully carried out.

On certain withdrawals made from the accounts which exceeded the withdrawal limit of N5million for individuals, the witness could not confirm that Fani-Kayode personally received the monies.

She also testified that the former minister did not complain that his money was missing.

After sitting for over four hours, the court adjourned till Friday, March 2 for further hearing in the matter.