Crime

N4.6bn Fraud: Absence of Judge stalls Fani-Kayode, Usman’s trial

The ongoing trial of former minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode and three others over alleged N4.6 billion fraud was yesterday stalled due to the absence of the trial judge Justice Mohammed Aikawa.

Justice Aikawa, was said to be in Abuja attending the annual Judges Conference.

 The case has being adjourned till November 21 for continuation of trial.

The anti-graft agency had on May 15 re-arraigned Fani-Kayode, a former minister of State for Finance, Mrs Esther Nenadi Usman, one, Danjuma Yusuf and a company, John Trust Dimensions Nigeria Limited, before Justice the court on a 17-count charge of alleged fraud.

Their re-arraignment came two months after another judge of the court, Justice Muslim Sule Hassan, withdrew himself from the case.

The EFCC, in the charge marked FHC/L/C/251c/2016, accused the defendants of conspiracy, unlawful retention of proceeds of theft and money laundering.

They all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

At the last sitting of the court, the first prosecution witness, Idowu Olusegun, concluded his testimony.

Olusegun, had while being cross-examined by Fani-Kayode’s lawyer, Norrison Quakers (SAN) said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is owing him the sum of N24 million for the services he rendered to its presidential campaign organisation for the re-election bid of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Olusegun, said the debt was his consultancy fee for the posters and fliers he printed for the re-election bid of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The witness also claimed that he got the contract for his firm, Paste Posters Company Ltd, through one, Aderemi Ajidahun, who was then working at the PDP Campaign Organisation office.

“I secured the contract of consultancy and printing of posters for the PDP through Mr Aderemi Ajidahun, who in turn linked me up with one, Mr Oke, who was at the PDP headquarters,” he said.

According to Olusegun, he had reached an agreement with the organisation whose office is situated at 14B, Samora Micheal Avenue, Asokoro, FCT, for the sum of N24 million for media consultancy services.

He said that a further negotiation was reached in which N50 would be paid for each size of A2 posters, while N20 would be paid for each size of A4 fliers.

Olusegun, told the court that after the printing job for the posters and fliers was done, he was invited to the office of the organisation, and given N30 million in cash by Mr Oke.

“Mr Oke was the person we liaised with all through the transaction and I received cash payments of the total sum of N30 million from him for the execution of the contract.

“I later issued the PDP Campaign Organisation with the receipt of payment. However, Mr Oke did not pay us all our money. He only paid us for the printing of posters and fliers. We are still being owed N24 million for media consultancy till date,” the witness said.

Responding to another question, the witness claimed he has been in the business for 14 years and that he had no dealings with Fani-Kayode throughout the period he was executing the PDP contract.

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