The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday re-arraigned former ministers of Aviation and Finance Chief Femi Fani-Kayode and Senator Nenadi Usman for alleged N4.6 billion fraud.
They pleaded not guilty to the 17-count charge of money laundering.
The defendants were first arraigned on June 28, last year before Justice Muslim Hassan.
But on March 16, he recused himself from the case after Fani-Kayode accused him of likely bias.
The judge transferred the case file to the Chief Judge, Justice Ibrahim Auta, for re-assignment to another judge.
In asking the court to disqualify himself, Fani-Kayode said Justice Hassan, who worked as Head of Legal at the EFCC before his appointment as a judge, signed the money laundering charge for which Fani-Kayode was previously tried and acquitted by Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia on July 1, 2015.
Following Justice Hassan’s withdrawal, the case was re-assigned to Justice Rilwan Aikawa and the defendants took their pleas afresh yesterday.
Justice Aikawa asked the defendants to remain on the bail terms earlier granted them by Justice Hassan.
Justice Aikawa adjourned until June 7 for ruling and commencement of trial.