Femi Fani-Kayode

 

A prosecution witness, Shehu Shuaibu, has narrated how funds were transferred form the account of the Federal Ministry of External Affairs to the account of an alleged fraudulent company.

The company, Jointrust Dimension Ltd, was charged alongside Femi Fani-Kayode, former Minister of Aviation.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said the company was used a conduit for illegal funds.

Shuaibu told the Federal High Court in Lagos that the sum of N800m was paid from the ministry's account into an account in the name of the company.

The witness, who is an investigator with the EFCC, gave the evidence at the resumed trial of Fani-Kayode and others facing N4.6bn money laundering charge.

Also charged are a former Minister of State for Finance, Nenandi Usman, Yusuf Danjuma, a former Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria.

Jointrust Dimension Ltd is the fourth defendant.

EFCC preferred a 17-count charge of money laundering against the defendants.

They had each pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bails respectively.

EFCC has since opened its case and the third prosecution witness, Mr Shehu Shuaibu, was still being examined in chief.

On Tuesday, the prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, continued examination of the third prosecution witness, after the court had earlier rejected an objection to the admissibility of two document tendered through the witness.

At the last adjourned date, the defence had objected to the admissibility of bank document tendered through the witness on the grounds that they were not legible and also not public document

Justice Rilwan Aikawa however, rejected the objection on the grounds that even if the witness was not the maker of the said document, they were gotten in the course of his investigation and therefore admissible.

The court accordingly admitted and marked the document as exhibits 15 and 16 respectively.

In continuation of his evidence, Oyedepo asked the witness to tell the court his findings during investigations.

The witness, who first confirmed that exhibit E8 is the statement of account of Jointrust Dimension Ltd, further told the court that investigations revealed that on January 16, 2015, the sum of N800m was paid into the account of the company.

He told the court that the money came from the Ministry of External Affairs, adding that the signatories to the account were one Darbisu and Benjamin.

He told the court that on January 13, 2015, the sum of N400m was paid from the MEA into same account of Jointrust.

The witness told the court that these monies were paid, whereas investigations revealed that there were no contracts between the ministry and the company to warrant such payment.

Under cross examination, defence counsel, Mr Ferdinard Orbih (SAN), asked the witness who was the author of the entries in exhibit eight and the witness replied that it was the MEA.

In the charge, the defendants 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 N3.8bn, 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, they were alleged to have unlawfully used over N970m, which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of an unlawful act of corruption.

Meanwhile 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 N30m in excess of the amount allowed by law without going through a financial institution.

Besides, 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.

All offences contravenes the provisions of sections 15 (3) (4), 16 (2) (b), and 16 (5) of the money laundering (prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.

You may also like

Read Next