The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday re-arraigned a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, on an amended 17-count charge of money laundering.
Fani-Kayode, who was the Director of Publicity of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential campaign organisation for the 2015 election, was accused of conspiring with others to directly and indirectly retain various sums, which the EFCC claimed they ought to have reasonably known were proceeds of crime.
He was charged alongside a former Minister of State for Finance, Nenadi Usman, before a Federal High Court in Lagos .
Also charged is Yusuf Danjuma, a former chairperson of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria and Jointrust Dimentions Nigeria Ltd.
The EFCC had earlier preferred a 17-count charge of N4.6billion money laundering against the defendants before the former trial judge, Mohammed Aikawa.
The defendants had each pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bail.
Hearing of the case had begun before Aikawa and witnesses were being led in evidence, before the trial judge was transferred out of the Lagos division.
The case was consequently assigned to a new judge, Daniel Osaigor, and the defendants had to start the case from the beginning.
On Monday, the amended 17-count charge was read over to the defendants and they each pleaded not guilty to the charge
After pleas, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), prayed the court for a trial date.
The Defence counsel, Ferdinard Orbih (SAN), however, urged the court to allow the defendants to continue on the existing bail conditions granted by the former trial judge.
In a short ruling, the court allowed the defendants to continue on their existing bail conditions and adjourned the case until March 11 for trial.
In the charge, the defendants were alleged to have committed the offences between January and March 2015 in Lagos.
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 N30million to one Paste Poster Co of No 125 Lewis St., Lagos.
The said payments were alleged to have been made in excess of amounts allowed by law without going through a financial institution.
All offences were said to have contravened the provisions of sections 15 (3) (4), 16 (2) (b), and 16 (5) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.