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EFCC amends charges against former aviation minister

27 January 2014, 21:24

Lagos - The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday filed an amended money laundering charge against a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, at a Federal High Court in Lagos.

At the resumed hearing of the case, the Prosecutor, Festus Keyamo informed the court of the amended charge containing 40 counts and applied that the plea of the accused be taken.

After first count was read to the accused, his Counsel, Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), raised an objection that the charge was invalid and his client could not plead to it.

Adedipe argued that the count stated that the accused "accepted cash payments of over N10 million", without stating the donor of the said money.

He said it was alleged throughout the charge that the accused "accepted various sums of money”, without mentioning the names of the persons from whom they were received.

The counsel submitted that the charge was “invalid, persecutory and oppressive”.

Keyamo, in response, argued that the charge bordered on money laundering in which monies involved had no source as opposed to conversion or stealing where there was a particular source.

He submitted that he was prepared to file a written address on the issue.

Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, in a short ruling, said that both parties were at liberty to either file written addresses or address the court orally on the issue.

She adjourned the case to February 3 for ruling.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Fani-Kayode was earlier re-arraigned on February11, on an amended 47-count charge.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charge and was granted bail.

In the charge, the accused was alleged to have transacted with funds exceeding N500 000 without going through a financial institution.

The accused was also alleged to have accepted cash payments of about N100 million while he served as Minister of Aviation and Minister of Culture and Tourism respectively.

The offences were said to contravene the provisions of Sections 15(1) (a) (b) (c) (d) and 15 (2) (a) (b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004.



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