Fani-Kayode raises the alarm, says ‘EFCC wants me to refund N840m without trial’, seeks bail
Twenty-four hours after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) filed a 17-count charge against former
Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, at a Federal High Court, the former minister has asked the court to admit him to bail.
In the motion for bail filed on his behalf by his counsel, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), Fani-Kayode told the court that he will be ready and willing to provide a responsible surety(ies) as may be required by the court as a condition(s) for the grant of this application.
The senior advocate further argued that under the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), bail is more relaxed as all offences are bailable “and in the class of offences charged, it is the prosecution that has a burden to show why bail should be refused.
“More so under the Act, all offences can be compounded by plea bargain. So, it is not about imprisonment any longer”, he said.
He further argued in the motion that, one of the co-accused in the charge, a former Minister of Finance, Senator Nenadi Usman, who allegedly received the money from government and paid Fani-Kayode, wrote that she did not know the money was from government. So, how will Fani-Kayode know?”
The EFCC slammed Fani-Kayode and Usman with a 17 count charge for fraud and money laundering.
Fani-Kayode was arrested for allegedly receiving N840 million during the presidential campaign of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
In the motion dated June 15, 2016, Raji argued that the offences, with which his client is charged, are bailable.
“The Defendant/Applicant has never been convicted of any offence in Nigeria or any other jurisdiction.
By Section 36 (5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the Defendant/Applicant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
“The reputation and past credible record of the Defendant/Applicant attest to the fact that he will not jump bail if he is granted same. The Defendant/Applicant will not interfere with the investigation or further investigation of the charges preferred against him.
The Defendant/Applicant is willing to always and punctually attend his trial.
The Defendant/Applicant is ready to provide a responsible surety(ies) as may be required by this Honourable Court as a condition(s) for the grant of this Application”, the senior advocate said.
In the affidavit in support of the motion for bail, deposed to by the applicant’s wife, Precious Chikwendu Fani-Kayode, the accused said he was interrogated by the Respondent’s agent (EFCC) for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s Campaign Funds for the 2015 Presidential Election in respect of which he was appointed the Director of Publicity for the Presidential Campaign Organisation (PCO) by President Goodluck Jonathan;
His wife said in the affidavit, “He told them all he knew about the funding of the PDP campaign, and that, as the Director of Publicity, no money was paid into his account from any government coffers.
All the monies paid into his account were from private entities and they were judiciously used to prosecute the PDP 2015 Presidential Campaign; He was granted administrative bail with onerous conditions (Now produced, shown to me and marked ‘Exhibit FFK 2’ is a copy of the list of the said bail conditions dated 9th May, 2016, given the Defendant/Applicant by the Complainant/Respondent through its agent, the EFCC);
The said bail conditions were met on Thursday, the 12th day of May, 2016, yet the Complainant/Respondent has refused to release the Defendant/Applicant till date.
“Know that since his visit to the EFCC on the 9th day of May, 2016, till date, the Defendant has been kept in the custody of the Respondent. The Complainant/Applicant informed me on the 14th day of June, 2016, at about 1pm, at the detention centre of the Respondent (EFCC detention facility) in Ikoyi, Lagos, and I verily believe him, as follows:
Since he got to Lagos, the Respondent’s operatives, to wit officers and men of the EFCC, have interrogated him about three times and all the questions are about the campaign money which he had been interrogated about in Abuja; No new issue and or petition has been raised against till date.
“I was there during one of the interrogation sessions, and what the operatives were asking the Defendant/Applicant was to refund the campaign funds and nothing more.
“The instant charges against him were merely brought to justify his unconstitutional detention by the Complainant/Respondent.
The Complainant/Respondent is not investigating any other petition against him and that the sole reason the Complainant/Respondent acting through the EFCC, kept and is still keeping him is to ask him to refund the campaign funds expended for the PDP Presidential Campaign 2015, in respect of which he was the Director of Publicity”.