Home FEATURES Fani-Kayode Misses Jail, As Court Acquits Him Of Money Laundering

Fani-Kayode Misses Jail, As Court Acquits Him Of Money Laundering

Fani Kayode in court

Federal High Court sitting in Lagos today, left off the hooks, the former Nigeria Aviation minister, Mr. Femi Fani-kayode on a two count charge of money laundering preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The court held that the EFCC, which charged him to court, was unable to prove the charges against him beyond reasonable doubt and consequently acquitted him.

Fani-Kayode’s trial began in 2008 before Justice Ramat Mohammed, with EFCC alleging that he laundered about N100 million while he was the Minister of Culture and Tourism and subsequently, Aviation Minister. The allegedly laundered sum was, however, reduced to N2.1million on Nov. 17, 2014 after Ofili-Ajumogobia dismissed 38 out of the 40-count levelled against Fani-Kayode for want of proof.

The EFCC prosecutor, Keyamo, while urging the court to uphold the remaining two counts and to accordingly convict Fani-Kayode, said the former minister had failed to exonerate himself of the allegations. Keyamo pointed out that the object of the charge was that Fani-Kayode transacted in cash sums above N500,000, which was the threshold stipulated by the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.

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Keyamo had argued that Fani-Kayode had admitted making such transactions in his confessional statement of Dec. 22, 2008 made to the EFCC. He said: “In this statement, he admitted that he transacted in cash above N500,000. My Lord, this statement went in without objection by the accused person and the statement was voluntary.

“With the combination of this confessional statement and the statement of the IPO that investigated the allegation, we rely on all of this to submit that we have discharged our burden that monies were received by the accused person in cash and were not done through any financial institution.”

Meanwhile, the EFCC has reacted to the judgment, saying that it would study same before deciding on what next to do. [myad]

 

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