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Justice Daniel Osaigor of a Federal High Court in Lagos, on Wednesday, ordered a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, to pay N200,000 for not making himself available for re-arraignment for alleged money laundering.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Osaigor said he had gone through the court’s file and noted five different letters by Fani-Kayode, seeking adjournment on the same medical grounds.
The court, consequently ordered that he should pay the sum or risk revocation of his bail.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had charged Fani-Kayode alongside a former Minister of State for Finance, Nenandi Usman.
Also charged was Yusuf Danjuma, a former Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, and a company, Jointrust Dimentions Nigeria Limited.
The EFCC preferred 17 counts bordering on N4.6bn money laundering against them before Justice Mohammed Aikawa.
They had all pleaded not guilty and were granted bail.
Trial had begun before Aikawa and witnesses being led in evidence before the judge was transferred out of the Lagos jurisdiction of the court.
The case was consequently assigned to Justice Osaigor and the defendants scheduled for re-arraignment on Wednesday.
When the case was called on Wednesday, Mrs Bilikisu Buhari, announced an appearance for prosecution.
Mr I. J. Ogechukwu appeared for the first defendant (Usman), Mr B. F. Ajudua appeared for the second defendant (Fani-Kayode) and Y. Olabode appeared for the third and fourth defendants.
Buhari then informed the court that on July 15, the prosecution asked the court to adjourn the matter for re-arraignment of the defendants.
She told the court that on October 11, the prosecution received a letter from the second defendant informing them that he had been given bed rest.
“Whenever he doesn’t want to attend court, this is the type of letter we get,” Buhari said.
However, Ajudua told the court that although his Fani-Kayode’s illness was recurring, he had attended court regularly.
After the judge went through the court’s file, he asked his counsel to take one of two options: revocation of Fani-Kayode’s bail or imposition of N200,000 fine to be paid before the next adjourned date.
The counsel chose the fine option.
Justice Osaigor adjourned the case till November 30.
This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.
The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.