A Federal High Court in Lagos, this Tuesday, ordered that two former ministers, Nenadi Usman, and Femi Fani-Kayode, be remanded tillFriday when their bail applications would be heard on the suit of N4.9 billion money laundering charges.
The two ex-ministers, including Danjuma Yusuf and a firm, Jointrust Dimensions Nigeria Limited, were this Tuesday arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) on a 17-count charge on conspiracy, stealing, corruption and making cash payments exceeding the amount authorized by law.
Usman was a former Minister of Finance and Director of Finance of the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organization in the 2015 general elections.
Fani-Kayode was a former Minister of Aviation and also Director of Media/Publicity of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organization in the 2015 general elections.
They are alleged to have stolen and illegally disbursed about N4.9 billion belonging to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to all the charges preferred against them.
Accordingly, Femi Fani-Kayode, will be in prison custody until at least July 1st, when his bail application will be heard as the presiding judge ajourned the case.
The accused were alleged to have committed the offences between January and March 2015. On counts one to seven, they were alleged to have unlawfully retained about N3.8 billion which they “reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act of stealing and corruption.’’ On counts eight to 14, the accused were alleged to have unlawfully used about N970 million which they “reasonably ought to have known formed part of an unlawful act of corruption.’’
Meanwhile, on counts 15 to 17, Fani-Kayode, together with a man, Olubode Oke, still at large, were alleged to have made cash payments of about N30 million in excess of the amount allowed by law without going through a financial institution.
Besides, Fani-Kayode, was alleged to have made payments to one Paste Poster Co. (PPC) of No. 125, Lewis St., Lagos, in excess of amounts allowed by law.
The offences, according to the EFCC, contravene the provisions of Sections 15 (3), (4), 16 (2), (b) and 16 (5) of the Money Laundering (Prohibitions) (Amendment) Act, 2012.