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Money Laundering Charges: Femi Fani – Kayode Knows Fate Feb. 10




A Federal High Court, Lagos has fixed February 10 to rule on whether or not it will allow the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to re-arraign a former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, for money laundering.

Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia adjourned the ruling, which she was to deliver on Monday, saying the parties’ written addresses were not filed early enough to enable her to deliver the ruling as scheduled.

The re-arraignment had been stalled on January 27, 2014 after the first among the amended 40 counts of money laundering instituted against the accused was read to him.

The re-arraignment was to be the fourth since 2008, when the matter was first filed.

Fani-Kayode, through his counsel, Mr. Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), had objected to the re-arraignment, challenging the competence of the amended charges.


The prosecution, in the amended charges, accused Fani-Kayode of money laundering involving about N99m, contrary to the 47 counts involving N230m earlier instituted against him.

But Fani-Kayode’s lawyer had interrupted the reading of the charges to the accused, challenging their validity, saying they contravened Section 167 of the Criminal Procedure Act.

Adedipe had said, “The accused person is alleged to have received money from a nameless and anonymous person.

“The accused was said to have accepted cash payments of over N10m without stating the donor of the said money. We have to know the person so that we can know who to address. As it is, the charge is vague.”

He also contended that all other counts preferred against his client stipulated that the accused person was alleged to have “accepted various sums of money, without mentioning the names of the persons from whom the sums were received.”


He argued that the charges were invalid and oppressive.

But the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Festus Keyamo, insisted that since the charges touched on money laundering, the sums of money involved were from unknown sources, which he said was what distinguished money laundering from stealing.

“The very essence of the crime of money laundering is when the money has no origin, when you are caught with large sums of money and you cannot explain the source,” Keyamo said.

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