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N4.9bn fraud: Fani-Kayode, Usman remanded in prison

Former minister of Aviation Femi Fani-Kayode and that of Finance, Nenadi Usman, went to separate prisons on remand after they appeared at a court in…

Former minister of Aviation Femi Fani-Kayode and that of Finance, Nenadi Usman, went to separate prisons on remand after they appeared at a court in Lagos yesterday charged with N4.9 billion fraud.
They were arraigned before Justice Sule Hassan by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) on a 17-count charge.
Also charged along with them are one Danjuma Yusuf and a company, Joint Trust Nigeria Limited.
All pleaded not guilty when the charges were read.
EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, asked the court to allow their trial to commence but the suspects’ counsels demanded their bail applications be heard first.
Mr. Ayo Adedipe (SAN) appeared for Fani-Kayode while Mr. S.I Ameh (SAN) represented  Nenadi Usman. Mr. Fred Orbih appeared for Mr. Yusuf.
Justice Hassan adjourned till Friday to rule on the bail applications for the accused persons.
He however ordered that they be remanded in prison custody pending when he will hear their bail applications.
The prosecution alleged that the offences were committed between January and March 2015.
Fani-Kayode who was spokesperson of former President Goodluck Jonathan 2015 presidential campaign faces 11 of the 17 charges.
Counts one to seven said the accused persons unlawfully retained over N3.8 billion of the total amount “which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act of stealing and corruption.”
Counts Eight to 14 stated the accused were alleged to have unlawfully used over N970 million which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of an unlawful act of corruption.
The offences were said to have contravened the provisions of sections 15 (3) (4), 16 (2) (b), and 16 (5) of the Money laundering (prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012‎.
The former ministers were brought to a Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos around 9am in a Toyota hummer bus by operatives of the EFCC who ushered into the court hall.
During their arraignments both the court hall and premises were crowded by families, relatives and supporters   in solidarity with the accused persons.
Soon after the court hearing which lasted for over two hours, armed prison officials both male and female led the former ministers into mini prison   opposite the court premises.
As they were being led out of the court premises Fani-Kayode was in sober mood while Usman who was also sober used a white Handkerchief to wipe her face.
Also, family members who had gathered inside the court premises were prevented by armed prison guard from having close contact with the accused persons.
The prisons official finally left the court with the accused persons around 3pm in a prison van.
While Fani Kayode and Danjuma were taken to Ikoyi prison under tight security, Usman was taken to Kirikiri prison by armed female prison guards because Ikoyi prison does not have facilities for female inmates.
One Olubode Oke   said to be at large was charged alongside the other accused.
Lawyers who represented the accused persons include:
Mr Ayo Adedipe for Fani-Kayode, the first accused person Mr Fred Orbih for Nenandi Usman, the second accused  Mr S.I Ameh appears for third accused (Danjuma)

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