Law News
Money laundering: Court adjourns Fani-Kayode’s trial

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, on Monday adjourned, till  February 23 and 24, 2015, the trial of a former Aviation Minister, Mr.  Femi Fani-Kayode, charged with money laundering.

Fani-Kayode was charged with 40 counts bordering on the alleged crime.

He was later absolved of 38 of the counts on November 17, 2014 following the ruling delivered by Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia on a no-case application he had submitted in response to the prosecution.

At the resumed  proceeding on Monday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s prosecutor, Mr. Festus Keyamo, reminded the court that the ex-minister was slated to enter defence against the two outstanding counts.

But in response, Fani-Kayode’s counsel, Mr. Wale Akoni (SAN), told the court that although the matter was for the defence to open its case, he would require time to put his house in order.

Akoni, therefore, prayed the court for an adjournment to enable him to regularise his position.

Keyamo did not raise any objection to the  prayer for adjournment.

Consequently, Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia adjourned till February  23 and 24, 2015 for continuation of trial.

The EFCC had accused Fani-Kayode of laundering various sums to the tune of about N100m.

He was said to have committed the crime while he served as the Minister of Culture and Tourism and the Minister of Aviation.

According to the charge, the ex-minister allegedly transacted, at various times, in cash sums above N500,000 without going through any financial institution.

The alleged crime, according to the EFCC, contravened sections 15(1) (a) (b) (c) (d) and 15 (2) (a) (b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004.

But upon his first arraignment in 2008 before Justice Ramat Mohammed, the accused had pleaded not guilty.

He was subsequently admitted to bail in the sum of N200m with two sureties in like sum by Justice Mohammed.

Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia is the third judge to preside over the case since it began in 2008.

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