EFCC re-arrests Fani-Kayode

Operatives of the Econom­ic and Financial Crimes Commission yesterday afternoon re-arrested former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode.

Fani-Kayode was picked up outside the premises of the Feder­al High Court on Oyinkan Abay­omi Drive, Ikoyi, Lagos, where he is facing money laundering charg­es before Justice Muslim Hassan.

He was picked up soon after the court adjourned his trial till November 14 and 15, 2016.

He had earlier, through his lawyer, Mr. Wale Balogun, sought the protection of Justice Hassan from the EFCC.

Balogun had pleaded with the court to direct the EFCC prosecu­tor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, to pre­vail on the operatives of the an­ti-graft agency not to arrest his client.

But Oyedepo told the court that he was not privy to any plan to arrest Fani-Kayode. He said all he could undertake was that Fani-Kayode would not be re-arrested in respect of the case before Jus­tice Hassan, where he had already been granted bail.

Oyedepo, however, added that he could not stop Fani-Kayode’s arrest if the EFCC had another charge against him.

Justice Hassan appealed to Oyedepo to advise the EFCC to do things properly.

Fani-Kayode, who had few days ago raised the alarm that the EFCC planned to re-arrest him, was immediately picked up by the EFCC operatives, who had wait­ed for him outside the courtroom.

He was led to the commis­sion’s bus waiting outside the court premises and driven away immediately.

Meanwhile, his trial alongside a former Minister of State for Fi­nance, Nemandi Usman and Dan­juma Yusuf, for an alleged fraud of N4.9bn began on Friday before Justice Hassan.

Fani-Kayode, who was the Di­rector of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential campaign organisation for the 2015 elec­tion, was accused of conspiring with others to directly and indi­rectly retain various sums, which the EFCC claimed they ought to have reasonably known were pro­ceeds of theft.

The EFCC opened its case on Friday by calling its first witness, Idowu Olusegun, a media con­sultant.

Led in evidence by Oyedepo, Olusegun narrated to the court how his company, Paste Poster Company, wrote a proposal dat­ed January 28, 2015 to the Di­rector of Media and Publicity, Peoples Democratic Party Presi­dential Campaign Organisation, for printing of posters and con­sultancy service.

He told the court that he was given the contract to print post­ers and fliers for the PDP 2015 presidential campaign at the rate of N50 per copy of an A2 poster and N20 per copy of an A4 flier.

He said he printed posters worth N24m and fliers worth N6m for the PDP presidential campaign organisation, adding that he was given an additional contract for media consultancy at the price of N24m.

The witness said he dealt di­rectly with one Olubode Oke, who he said he believed was in­ter-phasing between him and Fa­ni-Kayode.

He said he was paid N30m cash for the posters and fliers at the organisation’s office in Abuja.

“When I asked them why they were going to pay me in cash, Mr. Oke told me that cash was the ap­proved means of payment.

“Mr. Oke, I want to believe, stood in the stead of the 2nd de­fendant (Fani-Kayode), because all through the transaction he was the one I was speaking with,” the witness said.

He, however, told the court that the organisation was still owing his company N24m, which was the bill for the media consul­tancy service.

Justice Hassan admitted in evidence against the accused the certified true copy of the propos­al written by the witness’ compa­ny to the PDP campaign organ­isation.

Further hearing in the case was adjourned till November 14 and 15, 2016.

Fani-Kayode, Usman and Yu­suf were arraigned on 17 counts on June 29, 2016.⁠⁠⁠⁠

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