Written by Ikechukwu Nnochiri
The Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, told the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday that former aviation minister, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, received N26 million from the National Security Adviser’s office, NSA, without enforcing any contract.
The anti-corruption agency told the court that the money was sent to the former minister in a “Ghana-must-go”, through his driver identified as Francis and his personal assistant named Victor.
At the commission, the revelation was revealed by one of its operatives who testified as a third witness, PW-3, in a five-time money laundering charge she filed against Fani-Kayoda.
Fani-Kayode was director of media and publicity on former President Goodluck Jonathan’s 2015 election team.
The EFCC claimed that his former national security adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, retd, before the 2015 general election, illegally released him a sum of N26 million, to step up a media campaign for former President Jonathan.
Continuing the proceedings in that case on Tuesday, PW-3, Mr. Mohammed Goji, said the EFCC had an ongoing investigation into a contract carried out by the Office of National Security Advisers, ONSA, under Colonel Dasuki, retd, tracking the N26m to the former minister.
As the prosecutor guided him in the evidence, Mr. Faruk Abdullahi, a witness, said: “My lord, we have received an intelligence report on a certain amount of billions of naira money earmarked for contracts in the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA.
“Accordingly, we discovered that N26m was paid for a media conference for which it was not recorded that the project was carried out.
“We wrote a series of letters to the NSA Office, where we received payment vouchers and proposals stating that the stated amount had been paid.
“During the investigation, we gathered that the accused instructed his domestic servants, who consisted of his driver named Francis and his personal assistant named Victor, to access the NSA funds.
“They took the amount of cash in the” Ghana – you have to “bag from the NSA account section and took it to the defendant’s residence according to the instructions.”
The witness further revealed that the search warrant was executed at the defendant’s residence on May 10, 2016, after which he was summoned to the EFCC office for an interview.
He said that the accused voluntarily gave his statements on May 11 and 12, 2016.
Meanwhile, Prosecution defense counsel Abdullah, after testifying as a witness, offered evidence, documents containing a search warrant and three statements given by the accused while in EFCC custody.
The chief judge of the court, Judge John Tsoho, who presides over the case, adjourned the proceedings until April 21 to continue the trial.
It will be recalled that on November 11, 2016, the court granted the former minister bail of N50m with one bail of the same amount, after spending about a month in EFCC custody.
Some counts in the indictment against the accused, marked FHC / ABJ / CR / 140/2016, read: 000, 000.00 (Twenty-six million Naira) allegedly representing payment for a media campaign on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Office of the President, when you should reasonably have known that such a fund directly represented income from the illegal activities of Colonel Mohammed Samba Dasuki (rtd), then National Security Adviser and Shuaib Salis, then Director of the NSA Finance and Administration Office (For witnesses: criminal breach of trust and corruption and you thereby committed a crime contrary to Section 17 (b) of the 2011 Money Laundering) Act. year, amended in 2012 and punishable under Article 17 (b) of the same law.
“Yes, Chief Femi Fani-Kayoda, on or about 24 November 2014, in Abuja, under the jurisdiction of this Court of Honor, you accepted a cash payment of N26,000,000,000.00 (Twenty-six million Naira) from Office of the National Security Adviser through one Victor Ehiabhi, your security detail, the amount of which was higher than the required threshold for cash payment and thus you committed an offense contrary to section 1 (a) of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2011, amended in 2012. and punishable under 16 (1) (a) of the same law ”.
Vanguard News Nigeria