The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has re-arraigned a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, in a Federal High Court, Lagos, over money laundering.
Fani-Kayode’s re-arraignment was sequel to an amended 40-count charge bordering on the offence, filed against him by the anti-graft body on Jan. 24.
The accused pleaded not guilty to all the counts
Following the plea, Wale Akoni (SAN), the counsel representing the accused, prayed the court to allow his client to continue with the terms of the bail earlier granted him, the request which the prosecutor, Festus Keyamo, did not object to.
Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, in a short ruling, granted the prayer of the defence counsel and held that the accused, a senior member of the Bar and a traditional title holder, had always been available in court for his trial.
She, therefore, said that he should continue on the bail earlier granted him and adjourned the case to March 10, for trial.
Fani-Kayode was first arraigned in December 2008 before Justice Ramat Mohammed, on a 47-count charge.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge and the judge had granted him bail in the sum of N200 million, with two sureties in like sum.
Aside Fani-Kayode’s initial arraignment; he has been re-arraigned three times, first before Justice Binta Murtala-Nyako, following the transfer of Mohammed from the Lagos Division of the court and later before Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia on Feb. 11, 2013 after Murtala-Nyako was also transferred.
His re-arraignment on Thursday was the second before Ofili-Ajumogobia.
In the charge, he was alleged to have transacted with funds exceeding N500, 000 without going through a financial institution.
The accused was also alleged to have accepted cash payments to the tune of about N100 million, while he was Minister of Aviation and Minister of Culture and Tourism respectively.
The offences are said to contravene the provisions of sections 15(1) (a) (b) (c) (d) and 15 (2) (a) (b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004