By Innocent Anaba
lagos—Justice Muslim Hassan of a Federal High Court in Lagos, yesterday, disqualified himself from the trial of former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, who is being prosecuted over alleged N4.6 billion money laundering.
Fani-kayode is standing trial alongside former Minister of State for Finance, Nenadi Usman, a former National Chairman of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria, ALGON, Yusuf Danjuma and a company, Jointrust Dimentions Nigeria Ltd.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had arraigned them on a 17-count charge of laundering about N4.6 billion, though they pleaded not guilty.
At the hearing, yesterday, Justice Hassan in a ruling, withdrew from the trial of the accused.
His withdrawal followed an application by counsel to Fani-Kayode, Mr Norrison Quakers, SAN, urging the judge to step aside from the trial.
The judge ruling on the arguments of counsel for and against the application to withdraw, held that although counsel had not been able to show or prove any element of bias, it will serve the interest of justice for him to withdraw from the suit.
At the last adjourned date in February, counsel to Fani-Kayode, (Quakers) had argued an application before the court, explaining why the judge should recuse himself from the trial of the accused.
On the other hand, counsel to Usman, Mr Abiodun Owonikoko, SAN, had also argued his application before the court, seeking a severance of the criminal charge.