By Innocent Anaba
A Federal High Court, Lagos, yesterday, ordered the law firm of Festus Keyamo, to file, within three days, a written address stating his chambers competence to prosecute the alleged money laundering case against former Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode.
Trial judge, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, made the order, following an objection raised by defence counsel, challenging the competence of the prosecution counsel, who he argued was neither from the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, nor Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Fani-Kayode is facing a 47-count charge of money laundering and financial impropriety to the tune of N230 million.
Reacting, counsel from Keyamo’s law firm, insisted that the defence had no right to challenge the propriety of the prosecution team.
to prosecute the former minister, contending that the court must not descend so low to the argument posed by Fani-Kayode’s counsel.
According to prosecuting counsel, “We have the fiat to prosecute the accused person. Though the fiat is not with me presently but I can confirm that I am from Keyamo’s law firm.”
Adjourning the matter till June 24, 2013 for mention, Justice Ajumogobia warned the prosecution to be mindful of the language used in court.
Fani-Kayode, who served as minister under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, was re-arraigned before Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia by the EFCC.
According to the charges, Fani-kayode was accused of laundering various sums totalling N230 million through some of his aides, wife, Regina Fani-Kayode, and daughter, Remilekun, between August 2006 and March 2007.
Specifically, the EFCC accused the ex-minister of making a financial transaction exceeding N500, 000,000 which was done through a financial institution, by accepting cash payment of N10 million, which sum was further carried in cash to First Inland Bank, Plc, now FinBank, through one Mark Saviour Ndifreke.
He was also accused of accepting cash payment of N10, 967, 000, which was not done through a financial institution, and which was later deposited into his personal account no. 03450252601 with the same bank through one Florence Salau.