FORMER Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, has asked the Federal High Court, Lagos, to admit him to bail 24 hours after he was arraigned on a 17-count charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). He also alleged that he is being pressured by EFCC to refund N84o million without trial.
In the motion for bail filed on his behalf by his counsel, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), Fani-Kayode told the court that he would be ready and willing to provide a responsible surety(ies) as may be required by the court as a condition(s) for the grant of his application.
He argued that under the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), bail is more relaxed as all offences are bailable “and in the class of offences charged, it is the prosecution that has a burden to show why bail should be refused. More so, under the Act, all offences can be compounded by plea bargain. So, it is not about imprisonment any longer.”
He further argued that one of the co-accused in the charge, a former Minister of Finance, Senator Nenadi Usman, who allegedly received the money from government and paid Fani-Kayode, wrote that she did not know the money was from government. So, how would Fani- Kayode know?
EFCC slammed Fani- Kayode and Usman with a 17-count charge for fraud and money laundering.
Fani-Kayode was arrested for allegedly receiving N840 million during the presidential campaign of former president Goodluck Jonathan.
In the motion dated June 15, 2016, Raji argued that the offences, for which his client is charged, are bailable.
“The Defendant/Applicant has never been convicted of any offence in Nigeria or any other jurisdiction.
By Section 36 (5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the Defendant/Applicant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
“The reputation and past credible record of the Defendant/Applicant attest to the fact that he will not jump bail if he is granted same. The Defendant/ Applicant will not interfere with the investigation or further investigation of the charges preferred against him.