Justice Rita Ofili- Ajumogobia of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, has refused to admit as exhibit, a property document tendered by Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, who is standing trial on a two-count charge bordering on money laundering.
At the resumed hearing of the case on Tuesday, a defence witness, Mr. Kola Olapoju, the administrator of a property belonging to late Remi Fani-Kayode, father of the defendant, tendered a document, accompanied with receipts of payments made by tenants in the property.
According to the witness, the money allegedly paid into Fani-Kayode’s account with Inland Bank, was not from the Ministry of Aviation but the proceeds of rent paid by tenants occupying his late father’s house.
EFCC’s counsel, Festus Keyamo, objected to the tendering of the document in court, arguing that, both the document and the receipts of payments allegedly made by tenants in the house, were not duly stamped.
Justice Ajumogobia subsequently refused to admit the document as exhibit.
Meanwhile, the court has ordered the EFCC to produce the international passport of the defendant in court, within seven days. "The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission shall bring the passport of the accused person to court within 7 days," the judge said.
Justice Ajumogobia also ruled that, "And the accused should apply to the court, through the Federal Attorney General of the Federation, and state the date he is planning to travel, which country he is going and date of returning to the country"
She stressed that, Fani-Kayode shall not be allowed to stay out of the country for more than 31 days until the conclusion of his criminal trial
The court order followed a motion moved by counsel to Fani- Kayode, I. A. Adedipe (SAN) praying the court to order the EFCC to release the defendant's international passport , to enable him travel abroad for a national assignment.
Fani-Kayode was arraigned on an amended 40-count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of about N100, 219,500 (One Hundred Million, Two Hundred and Nineteen Thousand, and Five Hundred Naira only), while serving as a Minister of Aviation.
He was specifically accused of conducting financial transactions exceeding N500,000( Five Hundred Thousand Naira only) which was not done through a financial institution, by accepting cash payments of various sums which was further carried in cash to former Inland Bank, now First City Monument Bank Plc (FCMB)) through some of his associates.
It will be recalled that Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia on November 17, 2014, while delivering ruling on a no-case submission filed by the former minister, discharged and acquitted him of 38 out of the 40 count charges preferred against him by EFCC.
She, however, ordered him to enter his defence with respect to counts 25 and 26 of the charge containing allegations of money laundering.
Media & Publicity
24th February, 2015