EFCC rearrests Fani-Kayode

A former Minister for Aviation, Femi Fani Kayode, was, on Friday afternoon, rearrested within the premises of the Federal High Court Lagos by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for yet to be known reasons.

Fani Kayode was arrested shortly after he stepped out of the court where he had gone to attend his trial for a fraud and money laundering allegation of N4.9 billion levelled against him by the EFCC.

However, shortly after the accused had proceeded out of court, two officers of the EFCC dressed in white kaftan, flanked his sides, and requested that he followed them to the commission.

Immediately, the court’s gate was barricaded by a toyota hiace bus and Fani-Kayode was arrested and taken off to the EFCC.

Fani-Kayode, who was also former Director of Media and Publicity, campaign committee of ex President Goodluck Jonathan, is charged alongside a former Minister of Finance, Nenandi Usman, and Danjuma Yusuf.

Also charged is a company, Joint Trust Dimension Nig. Ltd.
They were arraigned on a 17 count charge bordering on unlawful retention, unlawful use and unlawful payment of money in the tune of about N4.9 billion.

They each pleaded not guilty to the charge and were granted bail.

Meanwhile, when the case was mentioned on Friday,  EFCC’s Prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo had opened the case for the prosecution and called his first witness, a Media consultant, Mr Idowu Olusegun.

Leading him in evidence, the witness, who is media consultant, Paste Posters Company Ltd, told the court that N30 million was paid in cash to him, by the office of the Director of media and publicity, PDP campaign Organisation.

According to Olusegun, he had reached an agreement with the organisation whose office is situated at 14B, Samora Micheal Avenue, Asokoro FCT, for the sum of N24 million for media consultancy services.

He said that a further negotiation was reached in which N50 would be paid for each size of A2 posters, while N20 would be paid for each size of A4 flyers.

Olusegun told the court that after the printing job for the posters and flyers was done, he was invited to the office of the organisation, and given N30 million in cash.
He told the court that he had demanded to know why payments was made in cash, and was informed by one Mr Oke, that cash was the approved means of payment.

He said that Mr Oke had been the person communicating with him throughout the pendency of his engagement to do the media jobs.
The witness also told the court that apart from the N30 million paid to him, there is also an outstanding payment of N24 million which was not paid to his company.

After his testimony, and based on agreements of counsels, the court fixed Nov. 14 and 15 for continuation of trial.

A mild drama  unfolded in court during trial, when the trial judge, Justice Sule Hassan, ordered the seizure of the mobile phones of Fani-kayode.

Fani Kayode held his phones and suddenly, the phone rang out loud and the judge ordered the court’s registrar to seize the phones.
The judge also issued a warning to counsel representing the accused, when he sighted him sipping a bottle water during proceedings.
The judge had warned counsel to seek the permission of the court, whenever, his client was pressed for a drink of water.

According to Justice Sule Hassan, “the court is not a market place, there must be order and sanity”
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.