Money Laundering: Fani Kayode, Others Paid Me N30M In Cash -Witness
…Court Okays Ex-Finance Minister’s Foreign Medical Trip
The trial of Mr. Femi Fani-kayode, former Spokesman to President Goodluck Jonathan’s Campaign Organisation, and former Minister for Finance, Mrs. Nenadi Esther Usman and one Danjuma Yussuf, over alleged N4.6 billion fraud commenced at the Federal High Court, Lagos Thursday, with the calling of the first prosecution witness Mr Olusegun Idowu a media consultant.
Idowu while being led in evidence by counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Rotimi Oyedepo confirmed to the Presiding Judge, Justice Ridwan Aikawa knowing Chief Femi Fani-Kayode whom he described as the Media Director of the President Jonathan Campaign Organisation.
The witness also confirmed knowing one Mr. Olubode Oke whom he said interfaced between him and the directorate of the Jonathan Campaign Organisation , Abuja.
Idowu also told the court that during the Peoples Democratic Party campaign of 2015, he approached the organisation and a job to print posters and flyers at a unit cost of N50 and N20 respectively worth N30million for the party’s presidential campaign with an agreement that money would be paid to him on delivery.
The witness said he did the job and on delivery N30 million was paid to him in cash.
However, the prosecution had to seek for adjournment to enable the witness search for the Original copies of the company’ invoice and payment receipt issued by the Jonathan’s Campaign Organisation which the prosecution seeks to tender.
Meanwhile, the first dependant, Mrs. Nenadi Esther Usman, who was a former Minister of Finance, got the nod of the court to travel to the United States of America for medical attention.
The order of the court granted by Justice Aikawa was sequel to the application filed by Usman counsel Chief Ferdinand O. Orbi (SAN) seeking the variation of her bail condition.
Specifically the application seeks for an order directing the release of her International Passport and a permission to travel to the US between the months of July and August 2017.
Earlier, Mr Norison Quakers, counsel to Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode who has filed an application to transfer the case to Abuja division of the court for lack of jurisdiction was adjourned till next hearing date while the prosecution was asked to file its defence to the application.
It would be recalled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC), has filed criminal charge against Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, former Spokesman to President Goodluck Jonathan’s Campaign Organisation, former Minister for Finance, Mrs. Nenadi Esther Usman, and one Danjuma Yussuf over alleged N4.6 billion fraud.
The three defendants and a limited liability company, Jointrust Dimentions Nigeria Limited, following the transfer of their case from Justice Muslim Hassan’s court are being tied by Justice Ridwan Aikawa on an amended 17 counts charge.
The EFCC in a charge marked FHC/L/C/251c/2016, alleged that the accused person, Usman, a former Minister of Finance, under president Goodluck Jonathan Administration, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, who is also the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, Danjuma Yusuf and the 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 be 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 running to 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.
Count one of the charge reads: That you, Nnenadi Esther Usman, Femu Fani-kayode, Danjuma Yusuf and Jointrust Dimentions Nigeria Limited, on or about the 8th day of January 2015, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired amongst yourselves to indirectly retain the sum of N1,500, 000,000.00 (One Billion, Five Hundred Million Naira) which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: stealing, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2)(d), 16(d), 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) & 4 of the same Act.”
While count 17 reads; “that you Femi Fani-kayode and Olubode Oke (still at large) on or about the 12th day of February,2015 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court without going through a financial institution made cash payment in the sum of N6,000,000. 000 (Six Million Naira) to Paste Poster Company (PPC) of 125, Lewis Street, Lagos Island, Lagos, which sum exceeded the amount authorized by Law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(a), Section 16(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act.