A former Minister of Aviation, Mr.
Femi Fani-Kayode, who is facing
money laundering charges before a
Federal High Court in Lagos, closed
his case on Thursday.
Fani-Kayode’s legal team, which
was expected to call upon its third
listed witness to disprove the
allegations, told the presiding
judge, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia,
at the resumed trial on Thursday
that after a further review of its
case, it realised that the testimony
of its third witness was no longer
The team, led by Mr. Ifedayo
Adedipe (SAN), therefore prayed
the judge for a short adjournment
within which the parties would file
their final written addresses and
move same in court.
“My Lord, we have since reviewed
the case of the prosecution in
relation with the defence, and
having been satisfied, we are no
longer calling any witness. We
closed our case in the trial. We shall
be asking for just seven days to
write our final written address and
subject to the convenience of this
court, we can come back in the
middle of April,” Adedipe said.
However, the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission’s
prosecutor, Mr. Festus Keyamo, said
he would require about two weeks
to file his final written address.
The matter has been adjourned till
May 4, 2014 for the two sides to
canvass their final arguments.
On the adjourned date, the court
would also rule on an application
by the defence seeking an order to
discharge one of Fani-Kayode’s
sureties, Wale Ajisebutu, who said
he needed the original title
documents of his landed property
“in order to meet certain personal
and urgent matters.”
Ajisebutu had in 2009 deposited the
title documents into the court
custody in fulfilment of the bail
conditions granted Fani-Kayode by
The defence, in its application
dated March 11, 2015, is also praying
the court to replace Ajisebutu with
one Ogbor Elliot.
Fani-Kayode was charged with an
amended 40 counts of money
laundering by the EFCC.
The anti-graft agency alleged that
while he was Minister of Culture
and Tourism and later the Minister
of Aviation, Fani-Kayode, on several
occasions, dealt in cash sums above
N500m without going through any
The alleged offence was said to
contravene Sections 15(1) (a) (b) (c)
(d) and 15 (2) (a) (b) of the Money
Laundering (prohibition) Act, 2004.
But following a no-case submission
by the accused, Ofili-Ajumogobia,
on November 17, 2014, dismissed 38
of the counts for failure of the EFCC
to prove the particulars of the
Fani-Kayode, who is the Director of
Media and Publicity of the Peoples
Democratic Party’s Presidential
Campaign Organisation, called two
witnesses in his bid to clear himself
of the remaining two counts.
Earlier on Thursday, the proceeding
was stood down from around 9am
till 1pm due to the absence
Keyamo, who was said to have
been stranded in Abuja due to the
cancellation of his flight on
When the case was called, Fani-
Kayode, who was accompanied by
heavy security presence, promptly
stepped into the dock but a lawyer
from Keyamo’s chambers, Mr.
Festus Afeiyodion, told the judge
that his principal had asked him to
urge the court to stand the trial
down till afternoon as he was
stranded in Abuja.