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N4.9BN FRAUD: Nenadi Usman, Fani-Kayode remanded in prison custody

Former Minister of Aviation and also a Director of Media and Publicity in the campaign organisation of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Femi Fani-Kayode, alongside former Minister of Finance, Nenandi Usman, were, yesterday, arraigned before a Federal High Court in Lagos, on a 17-count charge of money laundering to the tune of about N4.9 billion. Also charged were Danjuma Yusuf and a company, Joint Trust Dimension Nig. Ltd. They all pleaded not guilty to the 17-count charge of unlawful retention, unlawful use and payment of money to the tune of about N4.9 billion brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. After the charge was read to them and their plea taken, the prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, prayed the court for a trial date, adding that he was prepared to proceed with trial. But counsel to the first and second accused, Mr Ayo Adedipe, SAN and Mr S. Ameh, SAN, informed the court of a bail application filed on behalf of their clients. Counsel to the third accused, Mr Fred Orbih, however, informed the court that he was yet to file his bail application on behalf of his client. Trial judge, Justice Sule Hassan, in a short ruling adjourned the case to July 1 for hearing of their bail applications. The judge also ordered the accused to be remanded in prison custody, pending determination of their bail. In the charge, the accused were alleged to have committed the offences between January and March 2015. In counts one to seven, they were alleged to have unlawfully retained over N3.8 billion which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act of stealing and corruption. In counts eight to 14, the accused were alleged to have unlawfully used over N970 million which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of an unlawful act of corruption. Meanwhile in counts 15 to17 Fani-Kayode, together with one Olubode Oke who is said to now be at large, were alleged to have made cash payments of about N30 million, in excess of the amount allowed by law, without going through a financial institution. Fani-Kayode was also alleged to have made payments to one Paste Poster Co (PPC) of No 125 Lewis St., Lagos, in excess of amounts allowed by law. All offences were said to have contravened the provisions of sections 15 (3) (4), 16 (2) (b), and 16 (5) of the Money laundering (prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.


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