I’m not ready to pay any money back to EFCC-Fani-Kayode
I am not seeking any alternative procedure. I am assuring you right now that there is no question of me paying any money back to the EFCC, a former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, who is facing N26m fraud charges has said.
He was reacting to reports that he had intention to enter into plea bargain with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in respect of the N26m fraud charges instituted against him before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
Some media reports quoted the ex-minister’s lawyer, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), on Monday as saying, “My lord, looking at the facts of the case and the money involved, I believe that there are other options we can explore. “The case involves the sum of N26 million and the law allows you to explore the option of a plea bargain and so many other options rather than to go through trial.”
Raji, who newly took over the ex-minister’s defence, had on Monday sought an adjournment of the case to “get familiarised” with the file, adding that “I believe there are other options rather than a full trial.”
But Mr. Fani-Kayode had also told one of Nigeria’s Dailies, The Punch, that his lawyer’s comment in court was misconstrued by some reporters.
The ex-minister said he was prepared for trial to enable him to clear his name, “I am not seeking any alternative procedure. I am assuring you right now that there is no question of me paying any money back to the EFCC.
“As far as I am concerned, I am more than ready for the trial to proceed. I am happy to be in court because it gives me the opportunity to clear my name and put this matter behind me once and for all.
The EFCC had on November 11, 2016, arraigned Fani-Kayode on five counts involving alleged diversion of N26m which he allegedly received from the then National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, in November 2014, under the guise of payment for a contract.
Fani-Kayode, then the Director of Media and Publicity of the Peoples Democratic Presidential Campaign Organisation, allegedly received the money from the Office of the National Security Adviser before the election to organise media campaign for Jonathan.
EFCC maintained the he committed an offence contrary to section 17(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011, as amended in 2012 and punishable under Section 17(b) of the same Act.
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