Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode has been discharged and acquitted of the money laundering charges by a Federal High Court in Lagos.
Recalled that Fani-Kayode, whose trial began in 2008 before Justice Ramat Mohammed, was arraigned by the EFCC to have laundered about N100 million while he was the Minister of Culture and Tourism and subsequently, Aviation Minister. The allegedly laundered sum was, however, reduced to N2.1million on Nov. 17, 2014 after Ofili-Ajumogobia dismissed 38 out of the 40-count levelled against Fani-Kayode for want of proof.
The EFCC prosecutor, Keyamo, while urging the court to uphold the remaining two counts and to accordingly convict Fani-Kayode, said the former minister had failed to exonerate himself of the allegations. Keyamo pointed out that the object of the charge was that Fani-Kayode transacted in cash sums above N500,000, which was the threshold stipulated by the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.
Keyamo had argued that Fani-Kayode had admitted making such transactions in his confessional statement of Dec. 22, 2008 made to the EFCC. He said: “In this statement, he admitted that he transacted in cash above N500,000. My Lord, this statement went in without objection by the accused person and the statement was voluntary.
“With the combination of this confessional statement and the statement of the IPO that investigated the allegation, we rely on all of this to submit that we have discharged our burden that monies were received by the accused person in cash and were not done through any financial institution.”