Federal High Court in Abuja, on Thursday, granted bail to a former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, in the sum of N50m after he was arraigned on five counts of N26m fraud.
Fani-Kayode, the Director of Media and Publicity in the campaign organisation of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 presidential election, pleaded not guilty to all the five counts preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The EFCC accused the defendant of diverting N26m, allegedly received from the Office of the National Security Adviser under the headship Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.).
The EFCC also accused him of handling the said N26m without going through a financial institution as required under the Money Laundering Act. Fani-Kayode is equally standing trial along with others in the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court in connection with over N800m allegedly received from the N4.7bn allegedly collected by the Director of Finance of the campaign organisation, Senator Nenadi Usman, from the ONSA.
In the fresh charges, Fani-Kayode is the sole defendant in the fresh charges, marked FHC/ABJ/CR/140/2016, filed before the Abuja Division of the court. Shortly after the arraignment on Thursday, Fani-Kayode’s lawyer, Mr. Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), moved his client’s bail application, which was opposed by EFCC’s lawyer, Mr. Johnson Ojogbane.
But the trial judge, Justice John Tsoho, dismissed the EFCC’s objection to the bail application, holding that the defendant was presumed innocent. The judge granted bail to the accused person in the sum of N50m with one surety.
As part of the bail conditions, the court also ordered the accused person to deposit his passport with the court registrar pending the conclusion of his trial. The judge ordered that the accused person be remanded in prison pending when he would meet the bail conditions.
But it was learnt that he met the conditions before leaving the court premises on Thursday.
Justice Tsoho adjourned till December 14 for the commencement of trial.