•Court fixes Dec 14 for trial
Alex Enumah in Abuja
The embattled former Aviation Minister, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, was yesterday granted bail in the sum of N50 million by a Federal High Court, Abuja, over the N26 million money laundering charges brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The trial judge, Justice John Tsoho, who granted the bail, however, ordered that the accused be remanded in Kuje prison pending the perfection of his bail.
Other conditions the defendant has to meet include a surety in the like sum with property in Abuja.
The surety is expected to produce the original documents of the property for sighting and inspection before the Deputy Registrar, Litigation.
The defendant and the surety will also both be expected to produce two recent passport photographs, while the latter is expected to submit any travelling document and would only get same from the court if the need arises.
Fani-Kayode is facing a fresh five-count charge on money laundering to the tune of N26 million. He was said to have collected the sum from the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki, and used same for the Goodluck Jonathan media campaign during the 2015 presidential election.
He pleaded not guilty to all the charges and his counsel, Mr. Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), consequently applied for bail.
Adedipe, while arguing that the offence his client was being accused of is bailable, drew the attention of the court to the fact that Fani-Kayode, who was arrested outside the Federal High Court, Lagos premises was held for 21 days without a warrant of arrest or detention from the any court of law.
He disclosed that Fani-Kayode was earlier granted bail in a sister case where he was accused of misappropriating N1.2 billion and had not breached the terms of his bail.
He therefore urged the court to grant him bail on self-recognition.
Responding, the prosecuting counsel, Johnson Ojogbane, stated that although the defence had filed the bail application before the arrest and arraignment of the defendant, the prosecution had responded to it only in good faith and in respect of the court, noting that it ought not to have been the case.
“Ordinarily, we should not have responded to the bail application since it was filed long before today, but out of respect to this honourable court and in good faith, we decided to respond,” Ojogbane said.
He therefore urged the court to exercise its discretion and judiciously too in deciding the application.
Delivering ruling on the application, Justice Tsoho held that the offence the defendant committed was bailable.
Tsoho described as mere speculation claims by the prosecution that the defendant was a flight risk and was likely to tamper with evidence if granted bail.
He stated that there was no evidence to show that when the defendant was granted bail in the sister case he breached the conditions of his bail.
Fani-Kayode is already standing trial on a 17-count charge for money laundering before the Lagos division of the court.
Justice Tsoho fixed December 14 for trial.