Fani-Kayode, Usman’s money laundering trial stalled again

The trial of a former Minister of Aviation Chief Femi Fani-Kayode and his finance (state) counterpart Mrs Nenadi Usman was stalled at the Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday.Mrs. Usman’s lawyers, Chief Ferdinand Orbih and Abiodun Owonikoko, both SANs, were absent.The case therefore could not go on despite the presence of Fani-Kayode’s lawyer Mr Norrison Quakers (SAN).Little progress has been made in the case since Usman filed an application last June seeking to summon Minister of Information Alhaji Lai Mohammed for publishing her name as an alleged looter.She initiated contempt proceedings against Mohammed after he released her name as one of the looters of the treasury.Dismissing the application, Justice Rilwan Aikawa held that the contempt proceedings were a distraction capable of interfering with the trial.The judge held that the publication of Usman’s name as an alleged looter was not prejudicial to her case.He therefore dismissed the application for lacking in merit.The EFCC arraigned Mrs Usman and Fani-Kayode for alleged N4.6billion fraud, to which they pleaded not guilty.The former ministers were charged along with former Chairman of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) and ex-Chairman of Kagarko Local Government Area of Kaduna State Mr. Yusuf Danjuma and a company, Jointrust Dimensions Nigeria Limited.The four were also accused of violating the Money Laundering Act by indirectly retaining N300million, N400million and N800million, all proceeds of corruption, according to EFCC.The prosecution said they allegedly committed the offence between January 8 and March 25, 2015 ahead of the general election.The case was also stalled last June 5 when reportedly Danjuma slumped while having a bath and was hospitalised.

Trial was billed to resume that day, but Danjuma, a former Chairman of Kagarko Local Government Area of Kaduna State, was absent.His lawyer K.C Nwofo told the court that he received a call from Danjuma’s wife that the third defendant collapsed in the bathroom.Due to the absence of Usman’s lawyers on Thursday, Justice Aikawa adjourned until February 4 and 5 for trial.Source: The Nation

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