[TR News] EFCC re-arrests Fani-Kayode within Lagos court premises

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Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Friday afternoon re-arrested a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode.

Fani-Kayode was picked up within the premises of the Federal High Court on Oyinkan Abayomi Drive, Ikoyi, Lagos, where he is facing money laundering charges before Justice Muslim Hassan.

He was picked up as soon as the court adjourned his trial till November 14 and 15, 2016.

He had earlier, through his lawyer, Mr. Wale Balogun, sought the protection of Justice Hassan from the EFCC.

Balogun had pleaded with the court to direct the EFCC prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, to prevail on the operatives of the anti-graft agency not to arrest his client.

But Oyedepo told the court that he was not privy to any plan to arrest Fani-Kayode.

He said all he could undertake was that Fani-Kayode would not be re-arrested in respect of the case before Justice Hassan, where he had already been granted bail.

Oyedepo, however, added that he could not stop Fani-Kayode’s arrest if the EFCC had another charge against him.

Justice Hassan appealed to Oyedepo to advise the EFCC to do things properly.

Fani-Kayode, who had few days ago raised the alarm that the EFCC planned to re-arrest him, was immediately picked up by the EFCC operatives, who had waited for him outside the courtroom.

He was led to the commission’s bus waiting outside the court premises and driven away immediately.

Meanwhile, his trial alongside a former Minister of State for Finance, Nenadi Usman, and Danjuma Yusuf, for an alleged fraud of N4.9bn began on Friday before Justice Hassan.

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

The EFCC opened its case on Friday by calling its first witness, Idowu Olusegun, a media consultant.

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Led in evidence by Oyedepo, Olusegun narrated to the court how his company, Paste Poster Company, wrote a proposal dated January 28, 2015 to the Director of Media and Publicity, Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organisation, for printing of posters and consultancy service.

He told the court that he was given the contract to print posters and fliers for the PDP 2015 presidential campaign at the rate of N50 per copy of an A2 poster and N20 per copy of an A4 flier.

He said he printed posters worth N24m and fliers worth N6m for the PDP presidential campaign organisation, adding that he was given an additional contract for media consultancy at the price of N24m.

The witness said he dealt directly with one Olubode Oke, who he said he believed was the go-between him and Fani-Kayode.

He said he was paid N30m cash for the posters and fliers at the organisation’s office in Abuja.

“When I asked them why they were going to pay me in cash, Mr. Oke told me that cash was the approved means of payment.

“Mr. Oke, I want to believe, stood in the stead of the 2nd defendant (Fani-Kayode), because all through the transaction he was the one I was speaking with,” the witness said.

He, however, told the court that the organisation still owed his company N24m, which was the bill for the media consultancy service.

Justice Hassan admitted in evidence against the accused the certified true copy of the proposal written by the witness’ company to the PDP campaign organisation.

Further hearing in the case was adjourned till November 14 and 15, 2016.

Fani-Kayode, Usman and Yusuf were arraigned on 17 counts on June 29, 2016.

The charges border on conspiracy, unlawful retention of proceeds of theft and money laundering.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty.

In one of the counts, the EFCC alleged that Fani-Kayode, who it listed as the second defendant in the charge sheet, and his co-defendants conspired among themselves to “indirectly  retain the sum of N1,500, 000,000, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: stealing.”

The EFCC prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that the said conspiracy and indirect retention of the N1.5bn constituted an offence under Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012, and punishable under Section 15(3)( 4) of the same Act.

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Rancy Jay

Rancy Jay

I Dont have much to say about myself but an artiste and also a blogger, born to blog, promote, hype and update the latest updates. Adeniyi Fashina by name but popularly known as Rancy Jay, base in lagos... what more? if you need more mail me info@toorugged.com

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