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N4.9BN Fraud Scandal: Court Grants Fani-kayode, Ex-Finance Minister, Usman N250m Bail

Femi Fani_Kayode

A Lagos Federal High Court, today, granted bail in the sum of N250 million to two former Minister and chieftains of People's Democracy Party (PDP), Femi Fani-Kayode, Nenadi Esther Usman and one Danjuma Yusuf, who were charged with money laundering before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The three defendants, and a limited liability company, Joint Trust Dimension Nig. Limited, were arraigned before the court on a 17 count charge bordering on unlawful retention, unlawful use and unlawful payment of money in the tune of about N4.9 billion.

Delivering ruling on the defendants' bail application, Justice Sule Hassan, held that there was no evidence that the accused will interfere with the witnesses and tamper with the evidence, if granted bail.

The judge also stated that denying the accused bail, especially as the court is about proceeding on long vacation, will not serve the interest of justice.

He accordingly, admitted the first, second, and third accused to bail in the sum of N250 million each with two sureties each in like sum.

The judge added that each of the sureties must exhibit evidence of landed properties in Lagos, and must submit their international passport with the courts registry.
The judge further ordered that all documents must be verified by the EFCC within seven days.

The judge however ordered the accused persons to remain remanded in prisons custody pending the perfection of the bail conditions.

Fani-Kayode, who was also a Director of Media and Publicity in the campaign committee of ex President Goodluck Jonathan, was arraigned alongside a former Finance minister, Nenandi Usman, and Danjuma Yusuf.

They had each pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The trial of the defendants has been adjourned till October 19, 20, and 21.

In the charge, the accused 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 N3.8 billion 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, the accused were alleged to have unlawfully used over N970 million which they reasonbly ought to have known formed part of an unlawful act of corruption.

Meanwhile in counts 15 to17 Fani-Kayode, together with one Olubode Oke who is said to now be at large, were alleged to have made cash payments of about N30 million, 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.

The 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.

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