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How N800m was paid into firm’s account, by witness in Fani-Kayode’s trial

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[FILE PHOTO] Fani-Kayode

A prosecution witness at the trial of former Aviation minister Femi Fani-Kayode, yesterday, told a Federal High Court in Lagos how N800 million was paid from the Ministry of External Affairs’ account into that of Jointrust Dimension Limited.

Mr. Shehu Shuaibu, an investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), gave the evidence at the resumed trial of Fani-Kayode, alongwith former Minister of State for Finance, Nenadi Usman; and former chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Yusuf Danjuma.

The three are facing N4.6 billion money laundering charge alongside Jointrust Dimension Limited, which is the fourth defendant.

EFCC preferred a 17-count charge of money laundering against the defendants, who pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bail.

The anti-graft agency has since opened its case and the third prosecution witness, Shuaibu, was still being examined.

Yesterday, the prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, continued examination of the third prosecution witness after the court had rejected an objection to the admissibility of two documents tendered through the witness.

At the last adjourned date, defence had objected to the admissibility of a bank document tendered through the witness on the ground that they were not legible and also not public document.

Justice Rilwan Aikawa, however, rejected the objection on the ground that even if the witness was not the maker of the document, they were got in the course of his investigation and, therefore, admissible.

The court accordingly admitted and marked the document as exhibits 15 and 16.

In continuation of his evidence, Oyedepo asked the witness to tell the court his findings during investigations.

So, the witness, who first confirmed that Exhibit E8 was Jointrust’s statement of account, further told the court that investigations revealed that on January 16, 2015, N800 million was paid into the company’s account.

He told the court that the money came from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), adding that the signatories to the account were one Darbisu and Benjamin.

He said that the signatories were former officials of the ministry, but now working with the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

On January 2015, N400 million was paid from the ministry into the same account belonging to Jointrust, he added.

However, investigations could not trace any contract between the ministry and the company to warrant such payment.

Under cross-examination, the defence counsel, Chief Ferdinand Orbih (SAN), asked the witness the author of the entries in Exhibit 8 and the witness replied that it was the ministry.

Meanwhile in counts 15 to17, Fani-Kayode and one Olubode Oke, now at large, allegedly paid about N30 million cash, in excess of the amount allowed by law, without going through a financial institution.

Besides, Fani-Kayode allegedly made payments to one Paste Poster Co (PPC), Lagos, in excess of amounts allowed by law.

All offences contravene sections 15 (3) (4), 16 (2) (b), and 16 (5) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2012.


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ALGONEFCCFemi Fani-Kayode
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