Money Laundering: EFCC Begins Trial Of Ex-Aviation Minister, Fani-Kayode

femi_fani_kayodeThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday commenced the trial of a former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, at a Federal High Court, Lagos.

Fani-Kayode is standing trial on an amended 40 counts bordering on money laundering.

At the re-arraignment of Fani-Kayode on Monday, the prosecutor, Mr. Festus Keyamo, called his first witness, Mr. Okechukwu Okeke, to give his testimony.

Led in evidence by the prosecutor, Okeke, a relationship officer with the First City Monument Bank Plc, told the court that the accused maintained an account with FCMB, adding that his account had become dormant.

He alleged that the account of the accused was first domiciled with First Atlantic Bank before it was acquired by Fin Bank which was later acquired by FCMB.

According to the witness, as a relationship officer with the bank, he had the account history of customers.

He said he was given a letter by the legal department of his bank to verify the account history of the accused.

The witness, however, told the court that although the account was inactive, he still had details of transactions stored in the computer.

At this point, the prosecutor then tendered a statement of account of the accused between August 2008 and September 2012.

He informed the court that he was unable to produce the statement of account of the accused between 2004 and 2008 when he served as a minister.

He said he had written a letter to the bank to obtain the statements, and was told to come back in one week.

The Defence counsel, Mr Ifedayo Adedipe, did not oppose the submissions of the prosecutor.

Following this development, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia adjourned the case to March 18 for continuation of trial.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Fani-Kayode was first arraigned in December 2008 on a 47 counts.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge and Justice Ramat Mohammed granted him bail in the sum of N200m with two sureties in like sum.

He was re-arraigned with Justice Binta Murtala-Nyako as the trial judge following the transfer of Mohammed out of Lagos Division.

NAN also reports that Fani-Kayode was again re-arraigned the third time on February 11, 2013, with Justice Ajumogobia taking charge following the transfer of Murtala-Nyako. (NAN)

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