Former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode has debunked news making rounds in the media that he sought for settlement from prosecution in the ongoing trial involving N26 million.
Some media reports had claimed that he agreed to return 26 million Naira to the Economic and Financial rimes Commission [EFCC].
The report claimed that he made the move in an attempt to settle his case at the Abuja Federal High Court out of court.
Speaking through his spokesman, Jude Ndukwe, Chief Fani-Kayode said that nothing could be farther from the truth.
The statement titled “False Reports On Court Proceedings At The Abuja Federal High Court Today”, said:
“Reports that are coming out of MITV that Chief Femi Fani-Kayode has agreed to return 26 million naira to the EFCC in an attempt to settle his case at the Abuja Federal High Court out of court with them are false.
“The matter was adjourned in the Abuja Federal High Court today primarily because a new lawyer in the person of Mr. Ahmed Raji, SAN, was now handling the case and he needed time to be properly briefed on the matter and to go through the file.
“Under no circumstances will Chief Fani-Kayode pay any money back to EFCC or any other government agency because he never collected any money from any government agency in the first place.
“The reports are false, embarrassing and mischievous,” he stated.
See below a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday on the subject:
N26M SCAM: FANI KAYODE SEEKS SETTLEMENT
Former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode on Monday, asked the Federal High Court Abuja, to adjourn his case to allow him explore other options of settlement aside from going to trial.
Counsel to Fani-Kayode, Mr Ameh Raji (SAN) who made the application on his behalf said that since the sum of money involved was only N26 million, he believed that there were other options of settlement.
Raji added that moreover, he was new on the case and would need some time to go over the facts of the case to enable him defend his client effectively.
“My Lord, I am just coming into the case and so I crave your indulgence to enable me familiarize myself with the case.
“Secondly, looking at the facts of the case and the money involved, I believe that there are other options we can explore.
“The case involves the sum of N26 million and the law allows you to explore the option of plea bargain and so many other options rather than go through trial,” Raji said.
He said that if the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was amenable to plea bargain, the defence would take the option.
The prosecuting counsel, Mr Johnson Ojogbane said he was not opposing the application.
Ojogbane, however, asked the court to take cognizance of the fact this was the second adjournment at the instance of the defence and asked for a definite date to commence trial.
The judge, Justice John Tsoho adjourned the matter till March 14 for commencement of trial.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Fani-Kayode was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Justice Tsoho on a fresh five-count charge bordering on money laundering.
The ex-aviation minister was accused of allegedly collecting N26 million from the Office of the Former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki and using same for media campaign.
Count two of the charge reads: “You Femi Fani-Kayode, converted N26 million cash paid from the office of the National Security Adviser for the purpose of media campaign when you ought to have reasonably known that the said funds formed part of an unlawful act contrary to section 15 (2) (b) of the Money Laundering Act.”
Following the argument of his bail application by the counsel who represented him on that day, Mr Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), he was admitted to bail in the sum of N50 million and one surety in like sum.
Fani-Kayode is facing another 17-count charge of money laundering before the Lagos division of the court.
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