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Court Clears Fani Kayode Of Corruption Charges

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A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has dismissed the corruption charges levelled against a former aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

In her ruling, the presiding judge, Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, said that the prosecution’s case was feeble and failed to provide enough evidence linking Fani-Kayode to money laundering.

The former spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP,presidential campaign organization, whose trial began in 2008 was arraigned by the EFCC for allegedly laundering about N100m while he was minister of culture and tourism and subsequently, aviation minister.

The initial sum of N100m in the charge sheet was later scaled down N2.1million on November 17, 2014 after the court dismissed 38 of the 40-count charge levelled against Fani-Kayode for lack of proof.

The EFCC prosecutor, Festus Keyamo, then had urged the court to uphold the remaining two counts and to accordingly convict Fani-Kayode, since the former minister failed to exonerate himself of the allegations.

Keyamo had pointed out that the objective of the charge was that Fani-Kayode illegally transacted in cash sums above N500,000, whichwas the threshold stipulated by the Money Laundering Prohibition Act.

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He also argued that Fani-Kayode admitted making such transactions in his confessional statement of Dec. 22, 2008 made to the EFCC.

Keyamo had equally argued that the prosecution had discharged its duty once it established that Fani-Kayode transacted in large sums above the Money Laundering threshold.

He had asked the court to make Fani-Kayode explain the source of the money.

However, the defence lawyer, Ifedayo Adedipe in his summary argument, maintained that his client made no confession to the EFCC, adding that the anti-graft agency failed to show that Fani-Kayode actually accepted a cash sum of N1million as alleged.

Adedipe said the EFCC also failed to show to the court the person who handed the cash to the accused person.

He had also opined that for the prosecution’s case to succeed, it had to be proven beyond reasonable doubts.
Fani-Kayode had consistently denied the charges levelled against him by the anti-corruption agency.

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