By Innocent Anaba
Lagos—Former Finance Minister, Nenadi Usman and former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, and three others charged with money laundering, were, yesterday, granted bail by a Federal High Court in Lagos, in the sum of N250 million.
Fani-Kayode, who was also a Director of Media and Publicity in the campaign committee of ex President Goodluck Jonathan, was arraigned alongside a former Finance Minister, Usman, and Danjuma Yusuf.
Also charged was a company, Joint Trust Dimension Nig. Ltd.
The accused were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a 17 count charge of unlawful retention, unlawful use and unlawful payment of money in the tune of about N4.9 billion.
They had each pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Ruling on the bail application, the trial Judge, Justice Sule Hassan held that there was no evidence that the accused will interfere with trial if granted bail.
Moreso, the judge noted that denying the accused bail, especially as the court’s vacation was near, and would span throughout the expiration of August, will not serve the interest of justice.
He accordingly, admitted the first, second, and third accused to bail in the sum of N250 million each with two sureties each in like sum.
The judge further ordered that all documents must be verified by the EFCC within seven days.
He fixed October 19, 20, and 21 for trial.
In the charge, the accused were alleged to have committed the offences between January and March 2015.
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.
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.