After 67 days in detention, Nigeria’s former Minister of Aviation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, on Friday regained freedom from the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) custody.
Fani-Kayode was released at about 6:30pm in Lagos on Friday after after meeting his bail conditions.
The former Aviation Minister, shortly after his release said, “I give thanks to God that I am free after 67 days in detention.”
The former Minister said that the experience was the worst of his life.
In his word, “This was the worst experience of my life but God was with me all the way. I suffered immeasurably but I count it all as joy.
“I am innocent of all charges and I look forward to defending myself vigorously in court. These charges are politically motivated and I have been severely punished for my political views and criticisms of the government.”
Mr Fani-Kayode was arrested by the anti-graft agency over alleged N1.5 billion fraud and has been charged alongside a former Minister of Finance, Nenadi Usman; a firm, Joint Trust Dimensions Limited; and one Jimoh Yusuf.
Fani-Kayode and Usman were the directors of Media and Finance respectively of the Peoples’ Democratic Party Campaign Organisation in the 2015 general election.
The Federal High Court had granted bail in the sum of N250 million each, to Mr Fani-Kayode, Nenadi Usman and Danjuma Yusuf who are being tried by the EFCC for allegedly stealing and laundering about N4.9 billion.
Delivering his ruling on their bail application, the trial judge, Justice Sule Hassan, held that there was no evidence that the defendants would interfere with trial if granted bail.
The judge also held that denying the defendants bail, especially as the courts’ vacation was near, and would span throughout the expiration of August, would not serve the interest of justice.
Justice Sule Hassan granted the defendants bail with two sureties each in like sum. The sureties must own landed properties within the court’s jurisdiction and must present to the court, evidence of tax clearance.
The defendants were also ordered to deposit their international passports in the custody of the court pending the determination of the case.
Owing to the courts’ annual vacation which commences on Monday July 11, 2016, Justice Hassan adjourned commencement of trial to October 19, 2016.