A prosecution witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Teslim Ajuwon, told a Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, that a former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, made numerous withdrawals exceeding the N5 million limit for individual cash withdrawal in banks.
Mr. Ajuwon who is also a compliance officer with Zenith Bank Plc, highlighted before the Court a number of N10m cash withdrawals made in 2015 by the former minister.
The account, domiciled in Zenith bank plc was opened in 2015 by Mr. Fani-Kayode.
The lawful cash withdrawal limit for an individual is N5m, while for a corporate body is N10 million, the Zenith bank staff said.
However, the witness explained that whenever a customer exceeded the cash withdrawal threshold, such a customer would be surcharged certain amount by the bank, after which the transaction would be deemed to be legal.
Mr. Fani-Kayode former Minister of State for Finance, Nenadi Usman, one Danjuma Yusuf and a company, Joint Trust Dimensions Limited are being prosecuted for allegedly laundering a total of N4.9bn.
They were arraigned on 17 charges of fraud and money laundering before Justice Rilwan Aikawa.
They all pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Mr. Ajuwon, led in evidence by counsel for the EFCC, Mr. Nnaemeka Omenwa, said the withdrawals were made between March 19 and 27, 2015 in the build-up to the 2015 general elections.
The witness pointed out to the court three credits totalling N840m were transferred from the account of Joint Trust Dimensions Limited, the fourth defendant in the suit.
However, during cross examination Mr. Ajuwon said Zenith Bank surcharged Fani-Kayode a total sum of N2,206,290 for the 14 transactions of N10 million withdrawals he made.
Mr. Ajuwon refuses to affirm that the charges on the N10 million withdrawals ‘washed’ Mr. Fani-Kayode of crime of money laundering, but opined that the law allows such transactions to sail through after payment of the charge.