The trial of Femi Fani-Kayode, a former Minister of Aviation, was on Tuesday stalled at the Federal High Court, Abuja, due to the absence of a prosecution witness.
Fani-Kayode was docked by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on a 5-count charge bordering on money laundering and criminal breach of trust. ADVERTISING The prosecutor, Mrs. Ashibi Anedu, told the court that the matter was for the continuation of the trial, but unfortunately, the witness was absent.
She said the witness, Mr. Francis Abu, was with them on Monday, but just when they were about to start the pre-trial, the “man excused himself and went out.’’ Anebu said they made frantic efforts to reach him on phone but all to no avail.
She also said the investigators equally made efforts to get to the witness but could not reach him.
The prosecutor made an application pursuant to Section 241 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, (ACJA) 2015, for a witness summons to be officially served on the witness.
“We humbly apologize that the matter cannot go on today. May the court grant our application,’’ Anedu said. The defense counsel, Mr. Victor Okwudiri, did not oppose the application for adjournment.
Justice John Tsoho asked the prosecution to furnish the court with the name and address of the witness and ordered that a witness summons is served on him.
Tsoho adjourned the matter until Sept. 24 for the continuation of trial. Fani-Kayode was arraigned by the EFCC on a five-count charge bordering on money laundering.
The ex-aviation minister was accused of collecting N26 million from the Office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki and using same for the media campaign, contrary to Section 15 (2) (b) of the Money Laundering Act.
He pleaded not guilty and was admitted to bail in the sum of N50 million and one surety in like sum.