Wednesday, June 7, 2017 8:08 pm
The trial of Chief Femi Fani-kayode, former Spokesman to ex- President Goodluck Jonathan’s Campaign Organization, and a former Minister for Finance, Mrs. Nenadi Usman, and one Danjuma Yussuf, over alleged N4.6 billion fraud charges began on Wednesday at Federal High Court, Lagos with the testimony of the first prosecution witness, Mr Olusegun Idowu, a media consultant.
While being led in evidence by counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, Idowu told Justice Ridwan Aikawa that he knows Chief Femi Fani-Kayode whom he described as the media director of the erstwhile Jonathan Campaign Organization.
The witness also confirmed knowing one Mr Olubode Oke whom he said interfaced between him and the directorate of the Jonathan Campaign Organisation, Abuja.
Idowu said during the Peoples Democratic Party campaign of 2015, he approached the presidential campaign organisation and got a job to print posters and flyers at a unit cost of N50 and N20 respectively worth N30million for the party’s presidential campaign with an agreement that money would be paid to him on delivery.
The witness said he did the job and on delivery N30 million was paid to him in cash.
However, the prosecution had to seek for adjournment to enable the witness search for the Original copies of the invoice and payment receipt issued by the Jonathan’s campaign Organisation which the prosecution seeks to tender.
Meanwhile, Usman got the nod of the Court to travel to the United States of America for medical attention.
The order of the court granted was sequel to an application filed by her counsel, Chief Ferdinand O. Orbi (SAN) seeking the variation of her bail condition.
Specifically, the application seeks for an order directing the release of her International Passport and a permission to travel to the U.S. between the months of July and August 2017.
The Court had earlier adjourned the application by Mr Norison Quakers, counsel to Fani-Kayode for the transfer of the case to Abuja for lack of jurisdiction till next hearing date. The Court asked the prosecution to file its defence to the application.
EFCC had dragged Fani-kayode, Usman, and one Danjuma Yussuf and a limited liability company, Jointrust Dimensions Nigeria Limited to court on 17 counts charge bothering on fraud.
The anti graft agency had alleged that the accused person on or before January 2015, unlawfully retained the total sum of N4. 6 billion, which was they knew to be proceeds from an unlawful act.
While Usman, Danjuma Yusuf and Jointrust Dimensions Nigeria Limited allegedly retained the sum of N1.5 billion, Fani-kayode and Olubode Oke, said to be at large, were alleged to have retained the total sum of N1,650,650 billion.
The accused persons were accused of making payments running into millions on Naira without going through financial institutions.
The offences, according to the anti-graft agency are contrary to sections 1(a), Section 15(2)(d), 16(d), 18(a), 16(d) 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3), 16(2) (b) and 4 of the same Act.