A Lagos State Chief Magistrate, Mrs. Bola Osunsanmi, has ordered the further remand of a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, for additional three weeks in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Fani-Kayode, who spearheaded ex-President Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation in the 2015 general election, was arrested by the EFCC over an alleged fraud of N1.5bn in relation to his role in the election.
The remand order made on Monday was pursuant to an application by the EFCC, praying the magistrate for an order to keep Fani-Kayode in custody pending when he would be arraigned before the proper court upon conclusion of investigation.
Counsel for the EFCC, Mr. A.N. Anana, told the magistrate that the order to remand Fani-Kayode was being sought under the provisions of Section 261 of Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State, 2011.
“We have an application before the court dated May 10 for an order of remand brought pursuant to Section 261 of ACJL; attached with it is a nine-paragraph affidavit of urgency deposed to by one Tosin Ngbodagha,” Anana told the magistrate when the case was called at about noon on Monday.
But in opposition to the EFCC’s prayer, Fani-Kayode’s lawyer, Mr. Wale Balogun, accused the anti-graft agency of acting illegally and breaching the constitutional rights of his client, who, he claimed, had been granted an administrative bail on May 12 by the EFCC and ought to have been released to enjoy the bail.
Besides, Balogun contended that the EFCC ought to release his client since the remand order made by an Abuja chief magistrate to remand him for 14 days had lapsed.
“We are asking the court that defendant cannot be remanded in view of the fact that the matter is pending before the high court on the same subject, under the Criminal Justice Act of Lagos. It is a breach of constitution. They granted him bail but refuse to release him,” Balogun added.
But after standing the matter down for some time, the magistrate, in a ruling delivered at about 2.07pm, said the defence counsel had placed no record before the court to prove that the case was already before the high court.
She granted the application by the EFCC to remand Fani-Kayode for three weeks pending when he would be arraigned before the proper court.[Punch]