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Fani-Kayode vs EFCC: What happened in court on Tuesday

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A prosecution witness, Mr. Shehu Shuaibu, told a Federal Superior Court in Lagos on Tuesday that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs paid N800 million to a company’s account, Jointrust Dimension Ltd.

Latest Nigeria newspaper report that the witness, an investigator from the Commission on Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC), gave evidence in the resumed trial of a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, and some others facing charges of money laundering N4. 6 billion

The former Minister of Finance, Nenadi Usman, former president of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, Yusuf Danjuma, is also charged. The Jointrust Dimension Ltd. The company is the fourth defendant in the case.

Latest Nigeria newspaper report that The EFCC preferred a charge of 17 money laundering charges against the defendants, but all pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bail.

On Tuesday, the prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, continued the examination of the third witness of the indictment, Shuaibu, after the court rejected an objection to the admissibility of two documents filed through the witness.

On the last date postponed, the defense opposed the admissibility of the bank document presented through the witness, claiming that they were not public and legible documents.

Judge Rilwan Aikawa, however, rejected the objection claiming that even if the witness was not the creator of those documents, they were received in the course of their investigation and, therefore, possible.

Consequently, the court admitted and marked the documents as Annexes 15 and 16. Oyedepo asked the witness on Tuesday to tell the court his findings of the investigations into the matter.

The witness, who confirmed for the first time that Annex E8 was the statement of Jointrust Dimension Ltd., told the court that the investigations revealed that on January 16, 2015, N800 million was deposited into the company’s account.

Latest Nigeria newspaper report that He told the court that the money came from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MEA), and added that the signers of the account were a Darbisu and a Benjamin.

According to him, these signatories were former officials of the MEA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, respectively. He told the court that on January 13, 2015, the MEA paid N400 million to the same Jointrust account.

The witness told the court that the money was paid, while investigations revealed that there were no contracts between the Ministry and the company to guarantee that payment.

During the interrogation, the defense attorney, Mr. Ferdinard Orbih (SAN), asked the witness who was the author of the entries in Annex 8, and the witness responded that it was MEA.

Orbih asked: “So he agrees that none of the defendants had input to make the entries in Annex 8,” and the witness replied: “No, they don’t.”

Latest Nigeria newspaper report that When asked to confirm whether words such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs existed in the said exhibition, the witness replied: “No,” but explained that the words were abbreviated as MEA and MFA.

The witness also told the court that he did not know if any government investigation agency employed any of the defendants. The defense attorney also asked the witness if the commission obtained statements from the signatories of Test 16, and the witness replied: “Yes, they were invited to our office and their statements were taken.”

As to whether these statements were uploaded in advance or made available to the accused, the witness replied: “I don’t know.” The defense attorney said: “I told them that the alleged statements were not charged in advance to the defendants and are not before this court.”

The witness replied: “I don’t know, I’m not a lawyer and I’m not the one who wrote the charges. The trial will continue on October 31. In the charge, it was alleged that the defendants committed the crimes from January 2015 to March 2015.

In counts one to seven, it was alleged that they had illegally withheld more than N3.8 billion who should reasonably have known that they were part of the proceeds of an illegal act of theft and corruption. In the counts from 8 to 14, it was alleged that they had illegally used more than N970 million, which they should reasonably have known were part of an illegal act of corruption.

Meanwhile, in counts from 15 to 17, Fani-Kayode and an Olubode Oke, who was reportedly released, allegedly made cash payments of approximately N30 million, more than the amount allowed by law, without going through a financial institution.

Also, it was alleged that Fani-Kayode had made payments to a Paste Poster Co. (PPC) of No. 125 Lewis St., Lagos, above the amounts allowed by law. The alleged offenses violate the provisions of Sections 15 (3) (4), 16 (2) (b) and 16 (5) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act of 2012.