The absence of Justice Sule Hassan of a Federal High Court in Lagos, on Wednesday stalled the trial of a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, over money laundering.
Fani-Kayode, who was also former Director of Media and Publicity, campaign committee of ex- President Goodluck Jonathan, is charged alongside a former Minister of Finance, Nenandi Usman, and Danjuma Yusuf.
Also charged is a company, Joint Trust Dimension Nig. Ltd. They were arraigned on a 17-count charge bordering on unlawful retention, unlawful use and unlawful payment of money in the tune of about N4.9 billion.
They pleaded not guilty to the charge and were granted bail. On Wednesday, the trial of the accused could not proceed due to the absence of the trial judge, who is said to be away on official assignment.
The trial of the accused was, however, slated for Oct. 21 for continuation. In the charge, the accused were alleged to have committed the offences between January and March 2015.
In counts one to seven, they were alleged to have unlawfully retained over N3.8 billion which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act of stealing and corruption.
In counts eight to 14, the accused were alleged to have unlawfully used over N970 million which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of an unlawful act of corruption. Meanwhile in counts 15 to17, Fani-Kayode and one Olubode Oke, who is said to be at large, were alleged to have made cash payments of about N30 million.
The amount is said to be in excess of the amount allowed by law, without going through a financial institution.
Besides, Fani-Kayode was alleged to have made payments to one Paste Poster Co (PPC) of No 125 Lewis St., Lagos, in excess of amounts allowed by law.
All offences were said to have contravened the provisions of sections 15 (3) (4), 16 (2) (b), and 16 (5) of the Money laundering (prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.