The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday commenced the trial of a former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, at a Federal High Court, Lagos.
Fani-Kayode is standing trial on an amended 40 counts bordering on money laundering.
At the re-arraignment of Fani-Kayode on Monday, the prosecutor, Mr. Festus Keyamo, called his first witness, Mr. Okechukwu Okeke, to give his testimony.
Led in evidence by the prosecutor, Okeke, a relationship officer with the First City Monument Bank Plc, told the court that the accused maintained an account with FCMB, adding that his account had become dormant.
He alleged that the account of the accused was first domiciled with First Atlantic Bank before it was acquired by Fin Bank which was later acquired by FCMB.
According to the witness, as a relationship officer with the bank, he had the account history of customers.
He said he was given a letter by the legal department of his bank to verify the account history of the accused.
The witness, however, told the court that although the account was inactive, he still had details of transactions stored in the computer.
At this point, the prosecutor then tendered a statement of account of the accused between August 2008 and September 2012.
He informed the court that he was unable to produce the statement of account of the accused between 2004 and 2008 when he served as a minister.
He said he had written a letter to the bank to obtain the statements, and was told to come back in one week.
The Defence counsel, Mr Ifedayo Adedipe, did not oppose the submissions of the prosecutor.
Following this development, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia adjourned the case to March 18 for continuation of trial.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Fani-Kayode was first arraigned in December 2008 on a 47 counts.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge and Justice Ramat Mohammed granted him bail in the sum of N200m with two sureties in like sum.
He was re-arraigned with Justice Binta Murtala-Nyako as the trial judge following the transfer of Mohammed out of Lagos Division.
NAN also reports that Fani-Kayode was again re-arraigned the third time on February 11, 2013, with Justice Ajumogobia taking charge following the transfer of Murtala-Nyako. (NAN)
Akeredolu Sacks Ondo Attorney-General, Olawoye
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has sacked the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Kola Olawoye.
This was made known in a statement on Monday by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Segun Ajiboye.
Akeredolu immediately appointed a human rights lawyer, Mr. Charles Titiloye, as the new Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.
According to the statement, the Ondo State governor would forward Titiloye’s name to the State House of Assembly for confirmation.
Akeredolu also expressed his appreciation to the sacked commissioner for services rendered to the state.
Focus On Reducing Poverty, Not 2023 Elections – Peter Obi
Former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, has called on his fellow politicians to put issues of 2023 aside and focus on how to rescue the country from the current economic crisis.
Obi said that solving the economic problems of Nigeria was more important than political permutations geared towards the next general elections.
The former Anambra State Governor stated during an appearance on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.
He expressed that the next election has no impact on people’s current livelihoods.
Obi also blamed President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for not adequately preparing Nigerians for the impact of COVID-19, stating the monies borrowed by this government were not properly put to use.
“Every other country is discussing the recession and how to pull their people out of poverty.
“So what we should do now is to concentrate on the monetary and fiscal policies to start pulling people out of poverty,” Obi said.
Recession: Nigeria Is Broke, Can’t Afford 2021 Budget – Atiku
Former Vice-President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar has expressed that the Federal Government should reconsider the 2021 budget owing to the recession.
Nigeria officially entered into its worst economic recession in 33 years after the nation recorded a GDP contraction of 3.62 percent in the third quarter of 2020.
He stated that Nigeria is broke and cannot afford the luxurious items in the N13.08 trillion budget proposal.
Atiku in a Twitter thread on Sunday stated that COVID-19 only complicated an existing economic problem.
Atiu went on to express that had President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration listened to advice, the recession could have been avoided.
“We could have avoided this fate by a disciplined and prudent management of our economy.”
“This could have been avoided had this administration taken heed to the patriotic counsel given by myself and other well-meaning Nigerians on cutting the cost of governance, saving for a rainy day, and avoiding profligate borrowing,” Atiku said.
He further said that now is not the time to trade blames but to focus on ways to manage the situation and called on Buhari’s government to “swallow its pride, and accept its limitations, so that they can open their minds to ideas, without caring who the messenger is.”
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