The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is to commence afresh the prosecution of a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode and three others at the Federal High Court, Abuja on alleged misappropriation of N4.6bn and money laundering.
Counsel for the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN) told Justice Daniel Osiagor of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday that this move became necessary following last week’s judgement of the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, which quashed the charges. Oyedepo said that in view of the judgement of the Court of Appeal, all exhibits and documents tendered by the prosecution should be released to enable the Commission commence the matter afresh at the Federal High Court, Abjua.
Justice Osiagor subsequently ordered the release of all exhibits and documents tendered before the court during the hearing of the matter back to the EFCC. Last week Thursday, via zoom, Justice Mohammed Danjuma of the Court of Appeal had delivered judgement on an appeal filed by one of Fani-Kayode’s co-defendants, former Minister of Finance, Nenadi Usman challenging the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, Lagos to hear the matter. The appellant also submitted that the charge as filed before the Lagos court was defective.
The appeal court unanimously resolved the issues in favour of the appellant and also held that the Federal High Court in Lagos lacked jurisdiction to adjudicate on the matter. The appellate court also held that the facts of the case showed that all the transactions carried out by the Defendants took place in Abuja, hence the Federal High Court Abuja has jurisdiction to hear the case. Justice Fatima Akinbami and Justice Onyekachi Otisi agreed with the judgment.