The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday arraigned two former ministers and chieftains of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Femi Fani-Kayode and Senator Nenadi Usman before a Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Also charged alongside the duo are Danjuman Yussuf, Olubode Oke and Join Trust Dimensions Nigeria Limited.
Usman was former minister for Finance and director of Finance of the PDP presidential campaign in 2015, while Fani-Kayode was minister for Aviation and spokesperson for the campaign organisation.
The 17 count- charge filed against the accused bordered on unlawful retention, use and payment of money in the tune of about N4.9 billion.
In the charge, the accused were alleged to have committed the offences between January and March 2015.
All the accused persons pleaded not guilty.
Justice Sule Hassan, however, remanded them in Prison custody pending the hearing and determination of their bail applications.
Fani-Kayode was named in all 17 counts, Usman was named in only four of the charges.
In counts one to seven, they were alleged to have unlawfully retained over N3.8 billion which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act of stealing and corruption.
In counts Eight to 14, the accused were alleged to have unlawfully used over N970 million which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of an unlawful act of corruption.
Meanwhile, in counts 15 to17, Fani-Kayode together with one Olubode Oke, who is said to now be at large, were alleged to have made cash payments of about N30 million, in excess of the amount allowed by law, without going through a financial institution.
Besides, Fani-Kayode was alleged to have made payments to one Paste Poster Co (PPC) of No 125 Lewis St., Lagos, in excess of amounts allowed by law.
All offences were said to have contravened the provisions of sections 15 (3) (4), 16 (2) (b), and 16 (5) of the Money laundering (prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.
Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo urged the court to order for accelerated hearing while urging court to remand them in prison.
However, counsel for the accused persons, Mr. Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), who appeared for Fani-kayode; Fred Orbih (SAN) who appeared for Usman, and S.I Ameh (SAN) who appeared for Danjuma Yusuf all opposed Oyedepo’s application as they all told the court that they have filed and served bail application on the prosecutor, but Oyedepo told the court that though he has received Adedipe’s application for long, others were served on him on Tuesday and he needed time to respond to all the applications.
Justice Hassan, while adjourning till Friday, July 1, 2016, said it would be in the interest of Justice to give the prosecutor time to respond to all the bail applications.