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N4.9 billion fraud: Fani-Kayode, Usman, others to know fate July 4 on bail

Ruling, on bail application brought by two ex- ministers and chieftains of the People Democratic Party (PDP), Femi Fani-Kayode and Senator Nenadi Usman, has been fixed by a Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Justice Sule Hassan on Friday fixed July 4,2016 for ruling after hearing submissions from both prosecution and accused persons’ counsel.

Usman was former Minister For Finance and Director of Finance of the PDP Presidential Campaign in 2015, while Fani-Kayode was Minister for Aviation and spokesperson for the campaign organisation.

Also charged alongside the duo by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are Danjuman Yussuf, Olubode Oke and Join Trust Dimensions Nigeria Limited.

In the bail application argued by Ferdinand Odi (SAN) for Usman, Ifedayo Adedipe for Fani-Kayode, they asked the court to grant their clients bail on self recognition or on liberal term, noting that an accused is assumed to be innocent until he or she is found guilty by the court.

Odi (SAN) submitted that his client was in abroad when she learnt that EFCC wanted to see her and she came from abroad on her own to report to EFCC, adding that she was granted administrative bail by the prosecution and did not breach the term.

He also canvassed that Usman is receiving treatment abroad and needed the bail so that she can be seeing her doctor abroad.

Adedipe arguing for Fani-Kayode, submitted that his client was in the custody of the prosecution for 50 days, he urged the court to grant him bail without letting the EFCC be the verifiable body. Adding that if his client is granted bail, he will not temper with the course of justice or influences witness.

But EFCC’s prosecutor, Mark Anana, who opposed the bail application, argued that all the document tendered by Usman on issue of ill-health were photocopy. He said if the accused were granted bail by the court , they will temper with the course of justice and also influence prosecution witnesses.

The accused persons are facing a 17 count-charge bordering on unlawful retention, use and payment of about N4.9 billion.

The accused allegedly committed the offences between January and March 2015.

Fani-Kayode was named in all 17-count and Usman in only four of the charges.

In counts one to seven, they were alleged to have unlawfully retained over N3.8 billion which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act of stealing and corruption.

All the accused persons pleaded not guilty.

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