Justice Daniel Osiagor of the Federal High Court, Lagos, yesterday, slammed a N200,000 fine on former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, for failing to appear in court to take his plea on alleged N4.6 billion fraud charge.
Fani-Kayode is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), alongside a former Minister of Finance, Mrs. Nenadi Esther Usman; a former Chairman of Association of Local Governments in Nigeria (ALGON), Danjuma Yusuf and a limited liability company, Jointrust Dimentions Nigeria Limited.
The defendants’ prosecution had commenced since 2016 before Justice Sule Muslim Hassan, who has been elevated to the Court of Appeal.
“Mid-way to their trial before Justice Hassan, the defendants sought to have a different judge adjudicate on the matter on the ground that Justice Hassan was formerly a legal officer with the prosecuting agency (EFCC).
They had their way as the case was transferred to Justice Rilwan Aikawa. While the matter was pending before Justice Aikawa, the defendants’ pleas were re-taken.
Also, midway to the defendants’ trial, Justice Aikawa was transferred to another jurisdiction of the court, hence their case file was transferred to Justice Osiagor for the matter to commence afresh.”
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