On Tuesday, the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court ordered the release of processes and documents in the money laundering trial of a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, a former Minister of State for Finance, Nenandi Usman, and others to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, made an application before Justice Daniel Osiagor to release all documentary evidence or processes in the suit following the decision of an appellate court.
The former ministers are charged alongside Yusuf Danjuma, a former chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) and a company, Jointrust Dimensions Nigeria Ltd.
EFCC had preferred a 17-count charge bordering on N4.6 billion money laundering against them before a former judge, Mohammed Aikawa.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bail.
The trial had begun before Justice Aikawa, and witnesses were still being led in evidence until the judge was transferred out of the Lagos division.
The charge was re-assigned to Mr Osaigor, and they were re-arraigned on January 24. 2022.
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Again, the trial had since commenced in the case, and witnesses were still giving evidence before the court.
When the case was called on Tuesday, the prosecutor, Mr Oyedepo, announced an appearance for the prosecution and informed the court of the appellate court’s decision, directing that the case be transferred to the Abuja division of the court.
He also informed the court that it is still the prosecution’s case, adding that the trial is still leading evidence as PW 1 was still testifying.
He, consequently, sought an application for the release of all documentary evidence exhibited in the case to the prosecution to save time and avoid delay.
In a short ruling, Justice Osiagor held that in line with the appellate court’s decision, all documentary evidence and exhibits tendered be released to the prosecution.
In the charge, the defendants were alleged to have committed the offences in Lagos between January and March 2015.
They were alleged to have unlawfully retained over N4.6 billion at various times, which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of unlawful acts of stealing and corruption.