Defence says Fani-Kayode, Usman, Yusuf’s statements to EFCC involuntary
A Federal High Court in Lagos will on May 31 decide
whether it will admit in evidence, statements allegedly made
by a former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, and three
others facing money laundering charges.
Justice Mohammed Aikawa will rule on a preliminary
objection challenging the admissibility of the statements
allegedly made to the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC) which is prosecuting the defendants.
Journalists gathered that Fani-Kayode is facing charges
bordering on N4.6 billion money laundering alongside a
former Minister of State for Finance, Nenandi Usman (first
defendant), and Yusuf Danjuma, a former Chairman of the
Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON),
Yusuf Danjuman (third defendant).
The fourth defendant in the suit is a company, Jointrust
Dimensions Nig. Ltd.
The EFCC preferred a 17-count charge against the
defendants but they pleaded not guilty and were granted
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EFCC has since opened its case and the third prosecution
witness, Mr Shehu Shuaibu, is being led in evidence.
On Tuesday, Shuaibu, an EFCC investigator, who was led in
evidence by the prosecution counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo,
testified that during the investigation of the case, the
defendants were invited by the commission for their own
sides of the story.
He said when the first and third defendants were invited, he
showed them Exhibit 8 which is a bank account statement
of the fourth defendant (Joint trust) which they identified.
According to the witness, the defendants thereafter
volunteered statements to the commission after requisite
cautionary words were administered.
When asked about Fani-Kayode (second defendant), he said
that he was invited on May 19 and shown a statement of
his bank account where he transferred sums of money from
According to the witness, the second defendant admitted
receiving money from Joint trust and also volunteered
statements to the EFCC.
The prosecution counsel then showed the witness the
respective statements of the first, second and third
defendants, and he said that they made the statements to
When Oyedepo sought to tender the statements in evidence,
defence counsel, Messrs Ferdinard Orbih (SAN), Norrison
Quakers (SAN) and Clement Onwuenweunor, raised
objections to their admissibility, saying the statements were
Citing relevant provisions of the Evidence Act, Orbih told the
court that the statement of the first defendant was made
under duress and in her absence, while she was receiving
Quakers aligned with the submissions of Orbih, saying the
statement of Fani-Kayode was involuntarily made.
He added that the statement was not taken in the presence
of his counsel.
Citing statutory and judicial authorities, the defence argued
that where voluntariness of a statement was in doubt, the
court should order a trial-within-trial to determine whether
the statement was voluntary.
Clement, counsel to the third defendant, also aligned with
In reply, Oyedepo argued that a court could only order a
trial-within-trial where it was satisfied that the statement
under contention was confessional.
According to the prosecution counsel, the statement of the
first defendant was taken by her counsel, with her authority,
and not under any form of duress or inducement.
For the second defendant, Oyedepo argued that his
statement was taken in the presence of his lawyer, Mr
Olumayowa Owolabi, who he said, confirmed that the
statement was voluntary.
He argued that another lawyer for the second defendant,
one Wale Balogun, also confirmed that the statement was
Oyedepo urged the court to refuse the objection.
The judge adjourned the case until May 31 for ruling on the
objection and continuation of trial.
Journalists report that the EFCC alleged that the
defendants committed the offences from January 2015 to
In counts one to seven, it accused the defendants of
unlawfully retaining over N3.8 billion which formed part of
the proceeds of stealing and corruption.
In counts eight to 14, the commission accused them of
unlawfully using over N970 million which formed part of
In counts 15 to17, the EFCC accused Fani-Kayode and one
Olubode Oke said to be at large or making cash payments
of about N30 million which exceeded the amount allowed
by law without going through a financial institution.
It also alleged that Fani-Kayode made payments to one
Paste Poster Co (PPC) of No 125 Lewis St., Lagos, in
excess of amounts allowed by law.
The alleged offences contravene the provisions of sections
15 (3) (4), 16 (2) (b), and 16 (5) of the Money Laundering
(Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.
Waiting for the Federal High Court decision
thank u wakanda nation for another wonderful post,keep it up
It is well........