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Alleged N4.9bn fraud: Fani-Kayode, Nenadi Usman get N250m bail

…As EFCC arraigns Omokore, Diezani’s associate, over alleged money laundering

 

Temporary respite, on Monday, came the way of two former Ministers and chieftains of Peoples Democracy Party (PDP), Chief Femi Fani-Kayode and Senator Nenadi Esther Usman as a Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos admitted them to bail.

Justice Sulaiman Hassan also admitted one Danjuman Yussuf, who was charged alongside the duo to bail.

They were charged before the court on alleged N4. 9 billion fraud but admitted to bail in the sum of N250 million with two sureties in the like sum.

The judge also ordered that the sureties must have landed properties within the jurisdiction of the court and its title documents must be verified within seven days.

Justice Hassan also ordered the three defendants to deposit their international traveling passport with the court’s Deputy Chief Registrar (DCR), while equally ordered that they should be returned to prisons’ custody pending the perfection of the bail conditions.

The matter was subsequently adjourned till October 19, 2016 for the trial of the three defendants.

The judge upheld the submissions of the defendants’ lawyers, Mr. Ferdinand Orbih (SAN), Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN) and S. I. Ameh, who urged the court to admit their clients to bail in the most liberal terms.

But opposing the bail applications, the prosecution, led by Rotimi Oyedepo and Mark Ananna, urged the court to discontinue the defendants’ bail applications on the ground that they may likely tamper with the evidence and interfere with the witnesses.

The three accused persons, and a limited liability company, Jointrust Dimentions Nigeria Limited, were arraigned before the court last Tuesday, on a 17 count-charge bordering on fraud, stealing and corruption.

The EFCC in a charge marked FHC/L/C/251c/2016, alleged that the accused person, Usman, a former Minister of Finance, under President Goodluck Jonathan administration, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, who is also the spokesman of Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, Danjuma Yusuf and the limited liability company, Jointrust Dimentions Nigeria Limited, had on or before January 2015, unlawfully retained the total sum of N4. 6 billion, which they knew to have been proceeds from an unlawful act.

While the former Minister of State, Finance, Nenadi Usman, Danjuma Yusuf and Jointrust Dimentions Nigeria Limited retained the sum of N1.5 billion; Femi Fani-Kayode and Olubode Oke, said to be at large, were alleged to have retained the total sum of N1, 650,650 billion.

The accused persons were also alleged to have made payment of several amounts running to billions on Naira without going through financial institutions.

The offences according to the anti-graft agency are contrary to sections 1(a), Section 15(2)(d), 16(d), 18(a), 16(d) 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3),  16(2)(b) and 4 of the same Act.

Also, the anti-graft agency on Monday arraigned Jide Omokore, chairman of Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited and associate of former Petroleum Resources minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, in court.

On June 20, the anti-graft agency announced the arrest of Omokore and Andrew Yakubu, former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Omokore was arraigned before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja, alongside other accused persons.

According to the EFCC, Omokore is to be tried on four counts of money laundering to the tune of N400m.

Other defendants to the charge are Victor Briggs, Abiye Memnere, David Mbanefo, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Limited.

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