A Federal High Court in Lagos has granted bail in the sum of N250m to a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, who is being tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for an alleged fraud of N4.9bn.
Mallam Suleiman Hassan, the presiding Judge, also ordered that the sureties must be landed property owners within the jurisdiction of the court, and the title documents of such land must be verified within seven days.
The Court also ordered that the three defendants should also deposit their international traveling passport with the court’s Deputy Chief Registrar (DCR). The accused were equally ordered that they should be returned to prison custody, pending the perfection of their bail conditions. Thereafter, the case was adjourned till October 19, 20 and 21 for the trial of the three defendants to commence.
Granting the defendants’ bail applications, the judge upheld the submissions of the defendants ‘lawyers, Mr. Ferdinand Orbih (SAN), Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN) and S. I. Ameh, who had urged the court to admit them to bail in the most liberal terms.
In opposing the bail applications, the prosecution, led by Rotimi Oyedepo and Mark Ananna, had urged the court to discontenance the defendants’ bail applications on the ground that they may likely tamper with the evidence and interfere with the witnesses.
The three accused persons, and a limited liability company, Jointrust Dimentions Nigeria Limited, were arraigned before the court last Tuesday, on a 17 count-charge bordering on Fraudulent conversion.
EFCC in a criminal charge number FHC/L/C/251c/2016, alleged that the accused persons Nnenandi Esther Usman, a former Minister of Finance, under president Goodluck Jonathan Administration, Chief Femi Fani-kayode, who was the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organization, Danjuma Yusuf and a limited liability company, Jointrust Dimentions Nigeria Limited, had on or before January 2015, unlawfully retained the total sum of N4. 6 billion, which was they knew to have been proceeds from an unlawful act.
While the former State Minister for Finance, Danjuma Yusuf and Jointrust Dimentions Nigeria Limited retained the sum of N1.5 billion, Femi Fani-kayode and Olubode Oke, said to be at large, were alleged to have retained the total sum of N1,650,650 billion.
The accused persons were also alleged to have made payment of several amounts of money running into billions on Naira without going through Financial institutions.
The offences according to the anti-graft agency are contrary to sections 1(a), Section 15(2)(d), 16(d), 18(a), 16(d) 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3), 16(2)(b) and 4 of the same Act.