Alleged N4.6bn Money Laundering: EFCC Witness Testifies Against Fani-Kayode, Others

Mr Shehu Shuaibu, a prosecution witness at the trial of former Minister of Aviation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode has revealed how the sum of N800 million was paid from the Ministry of External Affairs into the account of a company, Jointrust Dimension Ltd.

The witness, an investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), gave the testimony on Tuesday to a Federal High Court in Lagos.

Also charged are a former Minister of State for Finance, Nenandi Usman, and a former Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Yusuf Danjuma.

Shaibu first confirmed that exhibit E8 was the statement of account of Jointrust Dimension Ltd, told the court that investigations revealed that on January 16, 2015, the sum of N800million was paid into the account of the company.

He added that the money came from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) with the signatories to the account identified as two persons – Darbisu and Benjamin.

Shuaibu noted that the said signatories were former staff members of the MEA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, respectively, now working with the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

He told the court that on January 13, 2015, the sum of N400 million was paid from the MEA into the same account of Jointrust.

The witness explained that these monies were paid, whereas investigations revealed that there were no contracts between the ministry and the company to warrant such payment.

Under cross-examination, the defence counsel, Mr Ferdinard Orbih, asked the witness who was the author of the entries in Exhibit Eight and the witness replied that it was the MEA.

After listening to the testimony and comments from both counsels, the judge adjourned until Thursday for the continuation of the trial.
In the charge, the defendants were alleged to have committed the offences between January and March 2015.

In counts one to seven, they were said to have unlawfully retained over N3.8 billion which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of unlawful acts of stealing and corruption.

In counts eight to 14, they were alleged to have unlawfully used over N970 million which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of an unlawful act of corruption.

Similarly, in counts 15 to17, Mr Fani-Kayode and one Olubode Oke said to be at large were alleged to have made cash payments of about N30 million in excess of the amount allowed by law, without going through a financial institution.

Besides, the former minister was alleged to have made payments to one Paste Poster Co (PPC) of No 125 Lewis St., Lagos, in excess of amounts allowed by law.

All offences, according to EFCC, contravene the provisions of Sections 15 (3) (4), 16 (2) (b), and 16 (5) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.

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