Former Minister, Babalola Borishade Dies At 71

A Former Nigerian Minister of Aviation, Professor Babalola Borishade, has died at the age of 71.

The minister, who according to reports, died in London after a brief illness, served in different ministries between 1999-2011.

He was also a teacher, a political strategist and an electrical engineer.

Meanwhile, his former colleague and Minister of Aviation Femi Fani-Kayode, described his death as a monumental loss, saying he was a good elder brother, who would be missed by the entire nation.

Alleged Contempt: Sheriff Threatens To Jail Makarfi, Others

Ali Modu Sheriff, Ahmed Makarfi, PDP, PDP Crisis
PDP National Chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff

The crisis rocking the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) does not appear to be abating, even with the judgement of the Court of Appeal.

The National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has asked the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to jail his rival Senator Ahmed Makarfi, and some of his loyalists over what he described as ‘contempt of court’.

The former Borno State Governor and the PDP National Secretary, Professor Wale Oladipo, accused Senator Makarfi and others of flouting the order of the court which was delivered on February 17, 2017.

The Appeal Court had in addition to pronouncing Sheriff as the PDP National Chairman, ruled that the removal of the National Working Committee was wrong while the constitution of the caretaker committee was illegal.

Apart from the former Kaduna State Governor, Senator Sheriff also listed three other prominent leaders of the party as those to be jailed by the appellate court.

Others named as alleged contemnors are the two other members of the sacked National Caretaker Committees, Senator Ben Obi (secretary) and Mr Dayo Adeyeye (publicity secretary), and a former Minister of Aviation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode.

In the suit with APPEAL NO: CA/PH/349/2016, Sheriff asked the court to commit the four persons to prison for one year over the alleged contempt.

Apart from the four contemnors, he also listed a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Emeka Ihedioha; a former Minister of Information, Professor Jerry Gana; Chairman, Board of Trustees of the party, Senator Walid Jibrin; and an aspirant to the office of the party’s national chairman, Mr Bode George, as alleged contemnors.

Close Down Factional Secretariat

The PDP National Chairman, however, did not pray the court to commit Ihedioha, Gana, Jibrin and George to prison.

Rather, he asked the court for an order restraining them from “proclaiming or otherwise holding out to the public that the first to third alleged contemnors are national officers of the PDP for any purpose whatsoever”.

Listed as defendants in the case are the PDP, the Independent National Electoral Commission, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and the Department of State Services (DSS).

Senator Sheriff and Professor Oladipo asked the court to stop Senator Makarfi and his group from parading themselves as national officers of the party.

PDP, Ahmed Makarfi
Senator Ahmed Makarfi

They also asked the court to direct the IGP and the DSS to close down the factional secretariat being operated by the Makarfi group.

Apart from that, the duo prayed the court not to transmit the records of the court proceedings to Markarfi and his group, saying they didn’t have the permission of the party to get it.

Defy Court Order

Oladipo, who signed an affidavit in support of the claim, stated that on February 17, “soon after the judgment was delivered, the alleged contemnors proceeded to address the media and to comment negatively, contemptuously, disparagingly and contumeliously on the findings and order of the court set out above.

“Rather than accept that the justice of the matter as determined by this honourable court was as expressed in the findings, holdings and order set out above, the fourth to eighth alleged contemnors made statements encouraging the first to third respondents to defy the order of the court and flout the purpose of the court’s judgment delivered on the 17th of February 2017,” he said.

The PDP National Secretary claimed that it was on this basis that the alleged contemnors placed notices in newspapers, where they convened a meeting of what they called “PDP stakeholders.

“The said meeting was held on Monday, February 20, and was attended by the fourth to eighth alleged contemnors, who made further statements encouraging the first to third alleged contemnors to defy the holdings and order of the court”.

Purpose Of The Judgment

The motion on notice for the committal of the alleged contemnors was filed by eight lawyers, led by a former Minister of Justice, Akin Olujimi, who was joined by two other Senior Advocates of Nigeria – Dr. Alex Izinyon and B. E. Nwofor – among others.

“The actions of the alleged contemnors, as shown in the affidavit in support of this application, have the effort of flouting the purpose of the judgment of this Honourable court, which purpose is to properly regulate the exercise of powers by the alleged contemnors against the applicants and first respondent; avoid any further anarchy, lawlessness and deepening crisis capable of heating up the Nigerian polity; and establish the requirements of the rule of law and due process in the administration of justice.

“Although the alleged contemnors were not parties to the action in court, it is our humble submission that they have a responsibility to ensure that they do not aid and abet the disobedience of the judgment order or treat the said judgment with disdain and disrespect,” the lawyers stated.

Senator Markarfi and the other faction of the party are believed to have filed an application seeking for stay of execution of the judgment and leave for appeal.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of Sheriff’s case, which was filed on February 24, 2017.‎

Court Adjourns Trial Of Fani-Kayode, Three Others Over Alleged Scam

Femi Fani-Kayode, CourtA Federal High Court in Lagos has shifted the trial of a former Minister of Aviation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode and three others over an alleged 4.6 billion naira fraud to Tuesday.

The ruling was given after the defence counsel, Mr Norrison Quakers, told the court that he had just been briefed about the matter on Sunday evening.

He noted that he would need time to study the case file and requested for parties in the matter to meet with the judge at his chambers.

Mr Fani-Kayode’s lawyer added that the outcome of the discussions would help the court to arrive at an informed decision on the matter.

Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nkereuwen Anana, however, opposed the request.

He maintained that any fresh issue on the matter should be raised in the open court.

Meanwhile, other defence lawyers, who weighed in on the matter, pleaded with the court to grant Mr Quakers’ request.

In a short ruling on Monday, Justice Hassan declined to grant any audience at his chambers with parties in the matter.

He asked Mr Fani-Kayode’s lawyer to put forward his thoughts in a formal application.

The judge consequently adjourned further hearing on the matter till Tuesday, January 17.

The EFCC had on June 28, 2016 arraigned the former minister and three others on a 17-count charge over an alleged fraud.

The other defendants are a former Minister of State for Finance, Mrs Nenadi Usman, one Danjuma Yusuf and a company, Joint Trust Dimensions Nigeria Limited.

They all pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bail by the court.

Transportation, Aviation Ministers Appear Before Senate

Transportation, Aviation Ministers Appear Before Senate The Minister of State for Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika and the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, have appeared before the Senate on Thursday, to explain the reason for the planned closure of the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.

The Senate invited both ministers on Thursday to explain the reason for the closure and rather explore other options besides closing the airport.

According to the lawmakers, closing the airport would bring hardship on local and international travelers.

Mr Sirika, however explained that it would be unsafe to continue to operate in the Abuja Airport, as there have been daily incidents on the runway.

Furthermore, the former pilot, stated that every flight plan always had alternate landing routes and Kaduna has always been the alternative for the Abuja airport.

He also pointed out that most of the sections of the runway have collapsed and if multiple sections have collapsed, it means the entire runway has collapsed.

The runway in the Abuja airport was constructed in 1982 with a lifespan of 14 years which had been exceeded.

Alleged N4.9b Fraud: Trial Of Fani-Kayode Stalled

Fani-KayodeThe trial of former Aviation Minister, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode over a 4.9 bilion naira fraud charge could not proceed at the Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday.

This is because he is still in Kuje prison trying to perfect the conditions for his bail granted by a Federal High Court in Abuja on five-count charge of diversion of 26 million naira.

His counsel, Mr Wale Balogun, told the court that he has been in Kuje prisons because he is yet to meet the bail conditions granted him by an Abuja court.

“My lord, the second accused (Fani-Kayode) was kept in custody of the prosecution for 21 days without any word, and finally, arraigned on November 10 before your learned brother, Justice John Tsoho in Abuja, on a five-count charge bordering on N26million.

“He was subsequently remanded at the Kuje prisons, and in view of this, we are helpless, as his bail conditions have not been perfected in spite of frantic efforts by family and friends,” Balogun said.

Mr Fani-Kayode had been facing a 17-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N4.9 billion before he was re-arrested on Friday, October 21 by operatives of the anti-graft agency.

He has been re-arraigned on fresh charges bordering on corruption, criminal breach of trust and diversion of funds by the EFCC.

Fani-Kayode, who was also spokesman for the Goodluck Jonathan Presidential Campaign, has pleaded not guilty to the five-count charge.

Court Grants Fani-Kayode Bail

Fani-KayodeA Federal High Court in Abuja has granted bail to former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, in the sum of 50 million naira and one surety in like sum.

The court says that the surety must be resident in Abuja and own a landed property in the capital city.

The former minister is to submit his passport and other travel documents to the court.

The presiding judge, Justice John Tsoho, has directed that Mr. Fani-Kayode be remanded in Kuje Prison until he meets the conditions of his bail application.

Mr. Fani-Kayode was arrested on Friday, October 21 by operatives of the anti-graft agency, as he left the Federal High Court premises in Lagos.

His arrest is connected to the recent 17-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N4.9 billion filed by the EFCC in Abuja against him.

He has been arraigned on fresh charges bordering on corruption, criminal breach of trust and diversion of funds by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Fani-Kayode, who was also spokesman for the Goodluck Jonathan Presidential Campaign, has pleaded not guilty to the five-count charge.

The former Aviation Minister has described his arrests as efforts to silence him.

Speaking to newsmen while being taken away by operatives of the EFCC as he left the Federal High Court premises in Lagos on Friday, he said: “They will not take my life, I am not scared, I’m not intimidated (and) I will not be silenced.

“I am very proud of the fact that the Nigerian people are beginning to understand what is going on in this country.

“They can re-arrest me a thousand times, torture me, lock me up, beat me, deprive me of food and my phones; they can do anything to me, I will never change.”

EFCC Dismisses Alleged Ill-Health Of Fani-Kayode

Fani-Kayode, EFCC ArrestsThe Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC has dismissed the alleged ill health of the former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, calling it a publicity stunt aimed at preventing his arraignment.

The former minister who will be arraigned on November 10, is reported to have slumped in the custody of the EFCC.

He is presently said to be mentally and physically stable.

A source also revealed that a former presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati and former FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed are still being interrogated by the anti-graft commission.

According to a source within the anti-graft agency, Fani-Kayode is to be arraigned on fresh charges bordering on criminal diversion of funds.

The EFCC source added that a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed was arrested on Sunday while the former presidential spokesperson, Dr. Abati detained on Monday.

The source said both men will be arraigned as soon as investigations are concluded. The arrested former government officials are facing corruption allegations.

Fani-Kayode Re-arrested

Mr. Fani-Kayode was arrested on Friday, October 21 by operatives of the anti-graft agency, as he left the Federal High Court premises in Lagos.

His arrest is in connection with fresh charges filed against him before a court in Abuja.

Mr. Fani-Kayode, former Finance Minister Nenadi Usman, and some others are facing a 17-count charge of money laundering to the tune of 4.9 billion Naira filed against them by the EFCC.

At the last sitting of the court, the EFCC had opened its case against them with the testimony of the first prosecution witness, the testimony of the witness will continue at the next adjourned date.

 

 

Fani-Kayode To Be Arraigned Nov 10   

Fani-KayodeA former Minister of Aviation and Spokesman for the Goodluck Jonathan Presidential Campaign, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode who is being detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is to be arraigned in Abuja on November 10.

According to a source within the anti-graft agency, Mr Fani-Kayode is to be arraigned on fresh charges bordering on criminal diversion of funds.

The EFCC source added that a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed who was arrested on Sunday and former presidential spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati are still undergoing interrogation and will be arraigned in court as soon as investigations on them are concluded.

Mr. Fani-Kayode was arrested on Friday, October 21 by operatives of the anti-graft agency, as he left the Federal High Court premises in Lagos.

His arrest is connected to the recent 17-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N4.9 billion filed by the EFCC in Abuja against him.

The Federal High Court in Lagos had fixed a new date for the trial of Mr. Fani-Kayode and Nenadi Usman, who were accused of money laundering by the EFCC.

‘I Will Not Be Silenced’

Meanwhile, the former Aviation Minister has said that he will not be intimidated by efforts to silence him after he was re-arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Speaking to newsmen while being taken away by operatives of the EFCC as he left the Federal High Court premises in Lagos on Friday, he said: “They will not take my life, I am not scared, I’m not intimidated (and) I will not be silenced.

“I am very proud of the fact that the Nigerian people are beginning to understand what is going on in this country.

“They can re-arrest me a thousand times, torture me, lock me up, beat me, deprive me of food and my phones; they can do anything to me, I will never change.”

EFCC Invites Fani-Kayode

On May 9, 2016, the former Aviation Minister, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode honoured the invitation of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He arrived at the headquarters of the anti-graft agency in Abuja in a police convoy.

The EFCC operatives had laid a siege to Mr Fani-Kayode’s residence but later withdrew after almost six hours.

Officers of the EFCC had visited his Maitama home inviting him for questioning on May 9, only to return at midday with armed men, seeking his arrest.

Mr Fani-Kayode said he was surprised at the turn of events after he had promised to show up with his lawyer.

He was the Director of Publicity for former President Goodluck Jonathan and PDP’s campaign Organisation before the general election of 2015.

Mr Fani-Kayode Released

On July 15, 2016, Mr Fani-Kayode was released from EFCC custody after meeting his bail conditions.

He was released after over two months in detention.

The former Aviation Minister, shortly after his release told Channels Television, “I give thanks to God that I am free after 67 days in detention.

“This was the worst experience of my life but God was with me all the way. I suffered immeasurably but I count it all as joy.

“I am innocent of all charges and I look forward to defending myself vigorously in court. These charges are politically motivated and I have been severely punished for my political views and criticisms of the government.”

Mr Fani-Kayode was arrested by the anti-graft agency over alleged 1.5 billion Naira fraud and has been charged alongside a former Minister of Finance, Nenadi Usman; a firm, Joint Trust Dimensions Limited; and one Jimoh Yusuf.

The Federal High Court in Lagos granted bail in the sum of 250 million Naira each, to Mr Fani-Kayode, Nenadi Usman and Danjuma Yusuf who are being tried by the EFCC for allegedly stealing and laundering about 4.9 billion Naira.

‘I Will Never Change’, Fani-Kayode Vows After EFCC Arrest

Fani-KayodeThe former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, says he will not be intimidated by efforts to silence him after he was re-arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Mr. Fani-Kayode was arrested on Friday by operatives of the anti-graft agency, as he left the Federal High Court premises in Lagos.

Speaking to newsmen while being taken away, he said: “They will not take my life, I am not scared, I’m not intimidated (and) I will not be silenced.

“I am very proud of the fact that the Nigerian people are beginning to understand what is going on in this country.

“They can re-arrest me a thousand times, torture me, lock me up, beat me, deprive me of food and my phones; they can do anything to me, I will never change.”

Fani-Kayode, EFCC Arrests

Fani-Kayode’s arrest is connected to the latest 17-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N4.9 billion filed by the EFCC in Abuja against him.

The Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday fixed a new date for the trial of Mr. Fani-Kayode and Nenadi Usman, who were accused of money laundering by the EFCC.

EFCC Invites Fani-Kayode

On May 9, 2016, the former Aviation Minister, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode honoured the invitation of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He arrived at the headquarters of the anti-graft agency in Abuja in a police convoy.

The EFCC operatives had laid a siege to Mr Fani-Kayode’s residence but later withdrew after almost six hours.

Officers of the EFCC had visited his Maitama home inviting him for questioning on May 9, only to return at midday with armed men, seeking his arrest.

Mr Fani-Kayode said he was surprised at the turn of events after he had promised to show up with his lawyer.

He was the Director of Publicity for former President Goodluck Jonathan and PDP’s campaign Organisation before the general election of 2015.

Mr Fani-Kayode Released

On July 15, 2016, Mr Fani-Kayode was released from EFCC custody after meeting his bail conditions.

He was released after over two months in detention.

The former Aviation Minister, shortly after his release told Channels Television, “I give thanks to God that I am free after 67 days in detention.

“This was the worst experience of my life but God was with me all the way. I suffered immeasurably but I count it all as joy.

“I am innocent of all charges and I look forward to defending myself vigorously in court. These charges are politically motivated and I have been severely punished for my political views and criticisms of the government.”

Mr Fani-Kayode was arrested by the anti-graft agency over alleged 1.5 billion Naira fraud and has been charged alongside a former Minister of Finance, Nenadi Usman; a firm, Joint Trust Dimensions Limited; and one Jimoh Yusuf.

The Federal High Court in Lagos granted bail in the sum of 250 million Naira each, to Mr Fani-Kayode, Nenadi Usman and Danjuma Yusuf who are being tried by the EFCC for allegedly stealing and laundering about 4.9 billion Naira.

Airline Operators Seek Aviation Policy To Address Challenges

planeAirline operators in Nigeria are urging the government to create a clear Aviation Policy that would raise the sector’s contribution to the GDP from 0.4% to 14% and create at least 10,000 direct and 100,000 indirect jobs by 2019.

Led by their Chairman, Captain Nogie Meggison, to a meeting with the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, the operators proposed the conversion of Nigeria’s airport terminals into domestic terminals for all of West Africa, to bring business, revenue and create jobs.

The propositions are coming on the heels of appeals seeking the Minister’s intervention in the allocation of more foreign exchange to the operators, resumption of Jet-A-1 aviation fuel production in Nigeria, implementation of importation duty and tax waiver on imported aircraft parts and exemption from value added taxation among others.

The Minster assured the operators that all their challenges would be addressed, with domestic and foreign operators’ interests protected.

He further stressed that the greater advantage would go Nigerian operators, with navigation, communication, runways, terminal building and security listed as the priority areas.

Court Set To Deliver Judgment On Fani-Kayode’s Alleged Money Laundering Case

Court To Rule On Fani-Kayode's Alleged Money Laundering CaseThe Federal High Court sitting in Lagos State, south-west Nigeria, will deliver judgement on Thursday, in the alleged money laundering case against Mr Femi Fani-Kayode.

The trial judge, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, had fixed the date last month after lawyers representing the Director of Media of Goodluck Jonathan’s 2015 Presidential Campaign Organization and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) adopted their final written addresses.

Fani-Kayode was arraigned before the court by the EFCC on a two count charge of laundering the sum of 2.1 million Naira, while he was serving in former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration, first as Minister of Aviation and later as Minister of Culture and tourism.

He was specifically accused by the EFCC of conducting financial transactions exceeding 500,000 Naira without going through a financial institution.

However, Fani-Kayode pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

It would be recalled that the former Minister was first arraigned in December 2008, before Justice Ramat Mohammed on a 47-count charge.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charge and was admitted to bail in the sum of 200 Million Naira with two sureties in like sum.

Fani-Kayode, however, was re-arraigned before Justice Binta Murtala-Nyako, following the transfer of Justice Mohammed from the Lagos Division of the court.

He was also re-arraigned before Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia on February 11, 2013 after the transfer of Justice Murtala-Nyako to the Jos Division of the court.

Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia had in November last year dismissed 38 out of the amended 40-count charge against him.

The judge, however, said Mr Fani-Kayode would need to prove his innocence in respect of two counts for which judgment would be given on Thursday.

Lagos Airport Cargo Terminals Reopened

Lagos AirportThe two cargo warehouses of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport have been reopened.

This comes after two weeks that the Nigeria Customs Service sealed the two cargo warehouses at the Lagos airport.

The Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, had said that the Ministry of Aviation was in support of the closure but was also in talks with the top hierarchy of the Customs to resolve the issue.

Speaking about the fracas between clearing agents and Customs officials at the Lagos Airport, which led to the closure, he warned that no group of people would be allowed to hold the nation to ransom and determine the rules by which government agencies should operate.

It is believed that the Minister’s intervention led to the reopening of the warehouses.