Tuesday, May 24, 2016 7:55 am
An Ikeja Magistrates’ Court in Lagos has ordered the remand of Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, a former Minister of Aviation in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for three weeks.
Magistrate Bola Osunsanmi while ordering Fani-Kayode’s remand said:”The defendant is hereby remanded in EFCC custody for three weeks pending a proper arraignment in court.
“The applicants have never suppressed the date of the arrest of the defendant before this court.
“Also, no evidence of the suit of the defendant before the FCT High Court was tendered by his counsel before the court.”
The EFCC brought Fani-Kayode to court to seek a remand order against him over a two-count charge of obtaining money by false pretences and the alleged theft of N1.5 billion, property of the Federal Ministry of External Affairs.
According to the anti-graft agency, the remand order is urgently needed to prevent Fani-Kayode from tampering with evidence.
Earlier during the proceedings, counsel to the EFCC, Mr N.M.Anana, urged the court to remand the ex-Minister of Aviation.
“We have an exparte application for an order of remand dated May 10, 2016 made pursuant to Section 261 (1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law.
“Attached to the application is a nine-paragraph affidavit of urgency seeking the remand of the defendant in the EFCC custody.
“We need this order of remand because if he is not remanded, he might interfere with the investigations in this matter, ” Anana said.
Counsel to Fani-Kayode, Mr Wale Balogun, however, opposed the EFFC’s application for remand.
He said:”The applicants have suppressed some facts which Your Lordship would question why the application of the EFCC is being taken ex parte.
“There is a pending suit before the FCT High Court to challenge the detention of the defendant.
“The suit number is FCT/HC/1767/2016 between the defendant and the EFCC who are aware of the suit and have been served.
“The defendant has been in EFCC detention since May 9 after which he was granted administrative bail the conditions of which he met on May 12.
“In Abuja, they got another detention order for 14 days and what the EFCC did after was to bring him to Lagos.”
Balogun urged the court not to detain Fani-Kayode because of the pending suit he had instituted against the EFCC.
“My client’s detention is a breach of the constitution; it is either he is granted bail or charged to court,” Balogun said.