The money laundering trial of a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode and others was, on Wednesday, stalled before a Federal High Court in Lagos, following absence of Prosecution and Defence Counsel.
The case which was initially fixed for continuation of trial could not proceed as the prosecution and defence counsel were said to be appearing at the court of appeal
Fani-Kayode is charged alongside a former Minister of State for Finance, Nenandi Usman, and Yusuf Danjuma, a former Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON).
Also charged is a company, Jointrust Dimentions Nigeria Ltd.
EFCC filed a 17-count charge bordering on N4.6 billion money laundering against them before a former judge, Justice Mohammed Aikawa.
The defendants had each pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bails.
Trial had began before Justice Aikawa and witnesses were still being led in evidence, until Aikawa was transferred out of the Lagos division.
The charge was consequently, re-assigned to a new judge, Justice Daniel Osaigor, and they were consequently, re-arraigned on Jan. 24. 2022.
Trial has since commenced in the case and witnesses are still giving evidences before the court.
Although the defendants were present in court on Wednesday, alongside some junior counsel from office of defence counsel, continuation of trial will however, resume on Jan. 26.
In the charge, the defendants were alleged to have committed the offences between January and March 2015 in Lagos.
They were alleged to have at various times, unlawfully retained over N4.6 billion which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful acts of stealing and corruption.
Meanwhile in counts 15 to17 Fani-Kayode and one Olubode Oke who is 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.
The said payments are alleged to have been made to one Paste Poster Co (PPC) of No 125 Lewis St., Lagos, in excess of amounts allowed by law..
All offence were said to have contravened the provisions of sections 15 (3) (4), 16 (2) (b), and 16 (5) of the Money laundering (prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012. (NAN)