Former ministers, Fani-Kayode, Usman granted bail

From left, Femi Fani-Kayode, Danjuma Yusuf, Nenadi Usman and prison officials, at the Federal High Court in Lagos, after they were granted bail on Monday.

RELIEF yesterday came the way of embattled former Ministers of Aviation and Finance, Femi Fani-Kayode and Nenadi Usman, as a Federal High Court in Lagos granted bail in the sum of N250m.

Fani-Kayode, Usman, one Danjuma Yusuf,  and a company,  Joint Trust Dimension Nigeria Limited, are being tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for an alleged fraud of N4.9billion.

Justice Muslim Hassan granted them bail of N250 million with two sureties in like sum and ordered both of the defendants to deposit their  passports in the custody of the court pending the outcome of the case.

The sureties, the court said, must be owners of landed properties within the court’s jurisdiction. The sureties are also to present evidence of tax clearance in the state.

The accused were on June 28, 2016, arraigned before Justice Hassan on 17 counts bordering on conspiracy, unlawful retention of proceeds of theft and money laundering.

Fani-Kayode, who was the spokesperson for former President Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign organisation in the 2015 general elections, was accused of conspiring with the others to directly and indirectly retain various sums which the EFCC claimed they ought to have reasonably known were proceeds of theft.

The alleged offences are punishable under Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012, punishable under Section 15(3)( 4) of the same Act.

The four defendants had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The EFCC Prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, has listed 17 witnesses he intends to call during trial.

Justice Hassan adjourned till October 19, 2016 for the prosecution to open its case.