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Money laundering: Absence of judge stalls Fani-Kayode, Usman’s trial

The proposed trial of two former ministers, Femi Fani Kayode and Nenadi Usman and one Danjuma Yusuf, which was slated for Wednesday, could not go on, due to the absence of the Judge.

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

Also charged was 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.

The trial of the accused could not proceed due to the absence of the trial judge, Justice Sule Hassan, who was said to be away on official assignment.

The trial of the accused was however, slated for October 21 for continuation.

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.

In counts 15 to 17, Fani-Kayode and one Olubode Oke, who is said to 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 alleged to have made payments to one Paste Poster Co (PPC) of No 125 Lewis St., Lagos, in excess of amounts allowed by law.