A former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, is now financially broke and already sold some of his properties, SaharaReporters has gathered.
According to family sources, Fani-Kayode, who may soon join the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) six years after he left for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is financially down and struggling to maintain his extravagant lifestyle.
The former minister had on Monday met with the Yobe State Governor and Chairman of the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Mai Mala Buni and Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello at Buni’s guest house in Abuja.
The closed-door meeting, which lasted for about an hour, was brokered by Bello, who is also the Chairman of the party’s mobilisation and sensitisation committee for the ongoing membership registration and revalidation exercise.
Explaining why he met APC leaders, Fani-Kayode, a staunch critic of the ruling party, claimed the meeting centred on how to move Nigeria forward.
“Yesterday I had the honour & privilege of having a very productive & important meeting with the Nat. Chairman of the APC, Gov. Mai Buni of Yobe state & Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi state. We discussed the state of the nation, national issues, party politics & the way forward.
“These meetings are wide-ranging & ongoing & I am delighted to be involved in them. Despite the obvious benefits & wisdom in this noble initiative it amazes me that some people should feel that it is wrong for me to sit with other leaders in the country to discuss issues which touch and concern the national cohesion, future and stability of our country.
Yesterday I had the honor & privilage of having a very productive & important meeting with the Nat. Chairman of the APC, Gov. Mai Buni of Yobe state & Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi state. We discussed the state of the nation, national issues, party politics & the way forward. 1/ pic.twitter.com/eQKMbHVidc— Femi Fani-Kayode (@realFFK) February 9, 2021
“This is a time in which we must set all our differences aside, build bridges and come together as one lest our country drifts into fratricidal butchery and civil war. It is right & proper for us to talk & to attempt to join hands across political, religious & regional lines to save Nigeria,” he posted on Twitter.
However, sources revealed that the former minister, apart from being broke, is also afraid of getting the ‘Olisa Metuh treatment’ meted out to him in his ongoing multi-billion naira corruption cases.
Metuh, a former National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, was convicted of money laundering by a Federal High Court in Abuja in February 2020.
Metuh and his company, Destra Investment Limited, had been prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for the N400 million he allegedly received from the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) in 2014.
However, the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, in December 2020, nullified the seven-year jail sentence given to the former PDP spokesperson, saying the Justice Okon Abang was biased in the handling of the cases.
Fani-Kayode was arraigned in 2016, alongside a former Minister of State for Finance, Nenadi Usman; Danjuma Yusuf, and a firm, Joint Trust Dimensions Ltd over N4.9bn alleged fraud.
The former minister, who was also the Director of Publicity for ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential campaign organisation for the 2015 election, 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 crime.
In one of the counts, the defendants were accused of conspiring among themselves to “indirectly retain the sum of N1,500, 000,000.00 which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: stealing.”
The four were also accused of indirectly retaining N300m, N400m and N800m, all proceeds of corruption, according to the EFCC.
Fani-Kayode was accused of directly using parts of the money at various times, including N250,650,000.00, which he allegedly used between March 20 and 25, 2015.
He was also accused of making a cash transaction of N24m with one Olubode Oke, said to still be at large, on February 12, 2015 “to Paste Poster Co of 125, Lewis Street, Lagos Island.”
The duo were said to have made the transaction without going through any financial institution, an act the EFCC claimed was contrary to sections 1(a) and 16(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012, and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.
Months later, the former minister was rearrested and solely arraigned on five counts bordering on money laundering to the tune of N26 million.
According to the EFCC, Fani-Kayode allegedly received the sum of N26 million from the office of the former National Security Adviser (ONSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.) in 2014.
“He is currently broke, when he was broke during the former President Olusegun Obasanjo era, he started attacking Obasanjo until he was offered a position which fuelled his drug filled lifestyle. As soon as he got a job with Obasanjo, he started attacking Prof. Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe. That was why Obasanjo said what politicians need to do for Fani-Kayode to hail them is to give him food,” a source told SaharaReporters.
“Years after, he started attacking former President Goodluck Jonathan. Jonathan’s wife was so scared of him that she begged her husband to employ him, that was why he was made the spokesman for the PDP’s presidential campaign committee.
“When APC came on board, he started attacking President Muhammadu Buhari because of the various corruption cases against him but the late chief of staff, Abba Kyari, was shielding him from trial. Now that Kyari is dead and his trial is progressing well, he is afraid that he might get Metuh’s treatment. He is expected to be in court on February 23 and 24, 2021. He doesn’t want to go to prison.
“In addition, he is very broke. I hope you are aware he just had a new baby. He doesn’t even have money for the unknown wife and baby’s upkeep. So, he started reaching out to APC stalwarts. He also told some of us that journalists conspired against his nationwide tour of states where he was initially making money.”
SaharaReporters, however, gathered that some APC chieftains, especially the powerful northern oligarchs don’t want him to return to the party.
They accused him of being in the habit of insulting President Buhari and people of the northern region for several years.
Fani-Kayode was last year attracted public criticism for his verbal assault on Eyo Charles, a journalist with Daily Trust, for asking him the source of funding of his recent tours during a press conference in Calabar, Cross River State.
Apart from describing Charles as "stupid", the former minister used other derogatory words on the journalist, drawing criticisms from far and near.
The journalist had asked him if he was being bankrolled by any politician or political group – a question that attracted verbal assault from the ex-minister.
“I’m saying this live on TV, put that thing down, what kind of stupid question is that? Bankrolling who? Do you know who you are talking to? I will not take any further questions from this man. Who do you think you are talking to? Go and report yourself to your publisher. I don’t want to take questions from this man, very stupid,” he said.
“I could see from your face before you got here how stupid you are. Don’t ever talk to me like that. I’m not a poor man and will never be, bankroll who? A former minister, a lawyer, don’t ever try that with me again, see me well, don’t ever. You are very rude, it’s not the standard of Daily Trust at all and I will report you to your publisher.”
The former minister eventually bowed to public pressure and apologised for his conduct.
SaharaReporters also exposed how his fourth marriage with Precious, his fourth wife, exploded over domestic violence that lasted for six years.
The former minister, who had a number of marriages before meeting Precious, with whom he has four sons, including a set of two-year-old triplets, accused her of infidelity.
Sources told SaharaReporters that Fani-Kayode started physically abusing the ex-beauty queen from the first year of their marriage, the same fate that befell her predecessors.
The violence, it was gathered, increased as the years went by.
FFK, as the ex-minister is often referred to, was said to have ordered Precious to abort her last pregnancy, claiming it did not belong to him.
The sources said Precious ignored him but got beaten, including being hit in the belly for the recalcitrance.
A source said Fani-Kayode always hit the woman violently in the presence of their home helps and sometimes threatened her with a gun by sticking the weapon in her mouth to warn her against squealing.
He sometimes instructed his bodyguard to hit the ex-beauty queen.
Fani-Kayode’s first wife, Saratu Attah, whom he married when he was 22, was also regularly pummeled by him.
Sources said the woman, daughter of the late Adamu Attah, was viciously beaten for requesting a swimming pool in their home on Marine Road in Apapa, Lagos.
FFK's next marriage was to Yemisi Odesanya, daughter of a judge. She is now known as Yemisi Wada after remarrying.
In newspaper interviews, the woman told stories of Fani-Kayode's viciousness and lack of care for their daughters, the reason for which he was excluded from the marriage of one of them, Temitope, in 2014.
Despite the disconnect between him and the children, the former minister never fails to advertise his "love" for them on Facebook on their birthdays.