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General News of Thursday, 14 October 2021


Court slams Fani Kayode N200k fine for failing to appear over alleged N4.6b fraud charge

Femi Fani-Kayode Femi Fani-Kayode

Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode has been fined the sum of N200,000 for failing to appear in court to take his plea on the alleged N4.6 billion fraud charge.

Fani-Kayode Fined N200,000 For Failing To Appear In Court On Alleged N4.6b Fraud

Justice Daniel Osiagor of the Federal High Court, Lagos, awarded the fine against Femi Fani-Kayode on Wednesday for not making himself available for re-arraignment for alleged money laundering.

Fani-Kayode was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alongside a former Minister of Finance, Mrs Nenadi Esther Usman, and one Danjuma Yusuf, a former chairman of ALGON, and a limited liability company, Jointrust Dimensions Nigeria Limited.

The defendants’ prosecution had commenced since 2016, before Justice Sule Muslim Hassan, who has been elevated to the Court of Appeal.

Midway to their trial before Justice Hassan, the defendants’ sought to have a different judge adjudicate on the matter on the ground that Justice Hassan was formerly a legal officer with the prosecuting agency (EFCC).

They had their way as the case was transferred to Justice Rilwan Aikawa. While the matter was pending before Justice Aikawa, the defendants’ pleas were retaken.

Also, midway to the defendants’ trial, Justice Aikawa was transferred to another jurisdiction of the court, hence their case file was transferred to the new Judge, Justice Osiagor, for the matter to commence afresh.

At the resumed hearing of the matter on Wednesday, the prosecutor, Mrs Bilikisu Buhari, informed the court that the matter was to start afresh, but that Fani-Kayode, who is the second defendant was not in court to take his plea.

The prosecutor, therefore, urged the court to revoke Fani-kayode’s bail, but the ex-minister’s counsel, F. B. Ajudua, pleaded with the court not to revoke his bail, saying that a letter has been written on behalf of his client, that he is currently on ‘bed rest’, at Kubwa General Hospital, Abuja.

Ajudua also told the court that his client has been coming for trial since the matter commenced in 2016, adding that he was only absent in court yesterday.

While apologising for his client’s absence, he begged the court not to revoke his bail and also asked for a short adjournment.

But the trial judge, upon perusing the court’s records, discovered that Fani-Kayode had been absent from court for five times, which the judge said has stalled the smooth hearing of the matter.

Justice Osiagor, therefore, gave two options of either to revoke his bail or impose a fine of N200,000 and his counsel opted for the fine option.

Consequently, Justice Osiagor imposed a N200,000 fine on the defendant, which he ordered must be paid before the next adjourned date and adjourned till November 30, for the defendants’ re-arraignment.

KanyiDaily recalls that Fani-Kayode had recently defected to the APC after vowing that he would rather die than join the ruling party which he described as Almajiri Peoples Congress (APC).

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