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Former Minister Fani-Kayode's Arraignment Stalled Again

The arraignment of Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, and former Finance Minister, Mrs. Nnenadi Esther Usman, and two others Danjuma Yusuf  and Jointrust Dimentions Nigeria Limited, was on Tuesday delayed by the absence of the presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Hassan of the  Federal High Court, Lagos. Justice Hassan was said to be attending a workshop.

  This is the second time the case has been adjourned. The two former ministers and their co -accused were scheduled for arraignment last week, but the matter was adjourned till today. As yet, a new date for the arraignment has not been fixed. The accused are facing a 17-count money-laundering charge filed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The accused, according to the first of the charges against them, conspired to indirectly retain the sum of N1.5billion.

In the second count, the trio of Usman, Yusuf and Jointrust Dimentions is accused of indirect retention of N300million. In another charge, Usman, Yusuf and JoinTrust Dimentions are accused of  indirect retention of N400million. The fourth count charged the former Finance Minister, Yusuf and Jointrust Dimentions of indirectly retaining N800million, while in the fifth count, Fani-Kayode was accused of illegally retaining N350million.

In count six of the 17 charges, the EFCC accused of Fani-Kayode of directly retaining N250million. He was also, according to the seventh count, accused of another illegal retention. This time of N240million.

In the eighth count, according to the charges, the anti-graft agency alleged that Fani-Kayode directly used the sum of N60million, while count nine charged him with illegal use of N170million. Another allegation against the former Aviation Minister and spokesperson for the former President Goodluck Jonathan's campaign organisation, is that of illegal direct use of N40million. Yet another is one accusing him of directly using N60million. The twelfth count has Fani-Kayode down as having directly used N200million. The former minister was also accused of directly using the sum of N250.6million. In the remaining charges, Fani-Kayode and one Olubode Oke, who is currently at large, conspired to make cash payments above the legal limit. Specifically, Fani-Kayode and Oke are charged with making a cash payment of N24million without going through a financial institution to Paste Poster Co (PPC) of 125, Lewis Street, Lagos Island, Lagos. Similarly, they are accused of making a cash payment of N6million to Paste Poster Co (PPC). The alleged offences were committed between 8 January and 25 March, 2015.

Count one to 14 of the charges are in contravention of Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable  under Section 15(3) & 4 of the same Act.

Counts 15 to 17 of the charges are contrary to Section 1(a), Section 16(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable  under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.