The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday arraigned a former aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, accusing him and three others of laundering N4.9 billion.
A planned arraignment of Mr. Fani-Kayode was stalled last Tuesday by the absence of the trial judge.
Mr. Fani-Kayode, who served as director of media and publicity during the campaign of former President Goodluck Jonathan, is facing a 17-count charge bordering on unlawful retention, use, and payment of money in the tune of about N4.9 billion.
Others charged alongside the former minister are Nenadi Usman, former finance minister; Danjuma Yusuf; and a company, Joint Trust Dimension Nig. Ltd.
According to the EFCC’s 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.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr. Fani-Kaoyde and others pleaded not guilty.
After their arraignment, the prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, informed the court that he was prepared to proceed with the trial at any date of adjournment
Counsel to the first and second accused, Ayo Adedipe, and Fred Orbih, told the court that a bail application had been filed on behalf of the defendants.
But counsel to the third accused, S.I. Ameh, said he had yet to file a bail application.
Responding, Mr. Oyedepo, informed the court that he had only been served with the application of the first and second accused, adding that he required time to reply.
Justice Sule Hassan, in a short ruling, adjourned the case to July 1 for hearing of the bail applications.
The judge ordered that the defendants be remanded in prison custody pending determination of their bail application. -Premium Times