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Money laundering: Court to deliver judgment on Fani-Kayode trial June 18

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Femi Fani-KayodeA Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday fixed June 18 for judgment in the trial of a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, charged with money laundering.

Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia fixed the judgment following the adoption of final written addresses and arguments by the counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the accused.

Mr. Fani-Kayode, whose trial began in 2008 before Justice Ramat Mohammed, was accused by the EFCC of laundering about N100 million while he was the Minister of Culture and Tourism and later, the Minister of Aviation.

The laundered sum was, however, reduced to N2.1 million on Nov. 17, 2014 after Ofili-Ajumogobia had dismissed 38 of the 40 counts levelled against the former minister for want of proof.

At the resumed trial of the case on Monday, the EFCC prosecutor, Festus Keyamo, urged the court to uphold the remaining two counts and to, accordingly, convict Mr. Fani-Kayode.

He said the former minister had failed to exonerate himself of the allegations.

Mr. Keyamo pointed out that the object of the charge was that Mr. Fani-Kayode transacted in cash sums above N500,000 which was the threshold stipulated by the Money Laundering Act.

He said that Mr. Fani-Kayode had personally admitted making such transactions in his confessional statement of Dec. 22, 2008 to the EFCC.

Mr. Keyamo said: “In this statement, he admitted that he transacted in cash above N500, 000. My Lord, this statement went in without objection by the accused and the statement was voluntary.

“With the combination of this confessional statement and the statement of the investigating police officer that investigated the allegations, we rely on all of these to submit that we have discharged our burden that monies were received by the accused in cash and were not done through any financial institution.”

Mr. Keyamo argued that the prosecution had discharged its duty once it established that Mr. Fani-Kayode transacted large sums above the Money Laundering threshold, adding that it was left for Mr. Fani-Kayode to explain the source of the money.

“Once you cannot explain the source of the large sums of money found on you, you are guilty of money laundering.

“If the prosecution must show where the money is coming from, then the whole essence of the money laundering law is defeated.

“It is not in all cases that the burden of proof lies on the prosecution; the burden at this point shifts to the accused”, Mr. Keyamo added.

He further argued that the court could not simply believe that the large sums that Mr. Fani-Kayode allegedly transacted were proceeds from his father’s estate.

According to him, the accused should have called the tenant who paid in the money to testify in court and also back it up with his bank’s statement.

But Mr. Fani-Kayode’s counsel, Adedayo Adedipe, in his summary argument, maintained that Mr. Fani-Kayode made no confession to the EFCC, adding that the anti-graft agency had failed to show that Fani-Kayode actually accepted cash amounting to N1million as alleged in one of the counts.

Mr. Adedipe said the EFCC also failed to show to the court the person who handed over the money to the accused persons.

He said for the case of the prosecution to succeed it must be proved beyond reasonable doubts.

“My Lord, it is our submission that the accused does not have to prove his innocence; it is the prosecution that must prove its case beyond all reasonable doubts.

“In this particular case, the prosecution has failed to give the evidence of acceptance of N1 million in the entire trial, and none of the witnesses brought by the prosecution gave evidence of giving the accused cash”, Mr. Adedipe said.

The lawyer said the defence had raised doubts in the mind of the court regarding the veracity of the testimony of the EFCC’s witness, Supo Agbaje.

He said that Agbaje had earlier been declared wanted by the EFCC and subsequently listed as a prosecution witness.

Adedipe added: “My Lord, reasonable doubt exists as to what happened and that doubt should be resolved in favour of the accused.

“Do we believe Agbaje, a man fighting for his liberty, for his life, who was remanded? Reasonable doubt exists in the testimony given by Supo Agbaje, who was declared wanted by the EFCC and later used as a witness”.

Adedipe, while urging the court to discharge and acquit Fani-Kayode, said the EFCC had no case against him, but it was only striving to “show to the world that we have caught a big fish; but My Lord, there is no big fish here”.

Ofili-Ajumogobia, while fixing judgment for June 18, also granted an application to substitute Wale Ajisebutu with Ogbor Elliota as surety for Fani-Kayode. (NAN)

Metro News

Gunmen Abduct Wife Of Akeredolu’s Chief Of Staff

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 Gunmen Abduct Wife Of Akeredolu’s Chief Of Staff

Ondo on map

Kidnappers on Friday abducted the wife of Olugbenga Ale, Chief of Staff to Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu.

According to reports, she was kidnapped around Owena after the Joseph Ayo Babalola University while on her way back to Ondo from Lagos State.

Also Read: Unknown Gunmen Kill Ondo Traditional Ruler, Olufon Of Ifon

The police spokesman in the state, ASP Tee-Leo Ikoro, confirmed the news to Channels Television on Friday.

This development is coming about twenty-four hours after a first-class traditional ruler in Ondo State, the Olufon of Ifon in Ose local government, Oba Isreal Adeusi, was murdered by suspected kidnappers.

 

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Tech News

TECNO Stormed Computer Village with BBNaija’s OZO to Wrap up its Black Friday Sales Activities

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The month of November is always known for its intense sales activities because the best deals of the year come
during the Black Friday Period. For TECNO, Africa Number One mobile brand, it was the time to reward its
customers with massive discounts and various gift items while also unveiling some of its new devices.

The brand in collaboration with SLOT stormed computer village as part of the events to wrap up its black Friday
sale activities, hosted BBNaija’s Ozoemena Chukwu to a hangout at SLOT Ikeja.

Fans and customers had a fun time interacting with the handsome celebrity while enjoying discount offers on
TECNO devices. Different deals and gift items were up for grabs as customers who made purchases at the store
enjoyed 50% discounts on Spark 5, Camon 16 Series and 100% cashback on the Spark 5 Pro.

The major highlight of the event was the presentation prizes to lucky winners. Customers who participated in
the spin the wheel game won gifts items such as Bluetooth Speaker; Power Bank and kettle while those who
participated in the Scratch and Win Promo won for themselves different deals ranging from 50% to 100%
cashback.

TECNO also introduced two latest devices-the Spark GO 2020-powered by Google Android 10 Go Edition and a
TECNO POVA. POVA means ‘Powering Optimal Value and Ambitions’ is a rebrand of the popular battery series
formerly known as Pouvoir was inspired by the zeal to deliver budget-friendly smartphones with superior
gaming experience.

The first of its kind 6.8-inch TECNO POVA, is powered by Mediatek Helio G80 octa-core processor and hyper-
engine game technology that transforms gameplay experience giving ultimate stability and a high refresh rate.
Additionally, users will benefit from the “Game Space,” “Game Mode,” and “Game Assistant 2.0” features,
allowing them to switch to the “do not disturb” function, a much-anticipated experience all gamers will
absolutely enjoy.

The TECNO POVA is also equipped with a power-packed multitasking effect ramped up by 6GB RAM and 128GB
of internal memory. The device also has a 6000mAh super big battery, 18W Dual IC Flash charger, a standby
time of 30 days and the ability to play music for 8 days straight, on just a single charge. It’s the perfect
smartphone offering a way to worry less about low battery.

The new devices are available for purchase this November and for the rest of November, customers will enjoy
amazing discounts, instant and mega prizes on TECNO devices.

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Metro News

BREAKING: Court Jails Rep Member For Lying

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BREAKING: Court Jails Rep Member For Lying

Court

A member of the House of Representatives, Victor Mela has been sentenced to one-month imprisonment by a Magistrate Court in Wuse, Zone 6.

The lawmaker who represents Billiri/Balanga federal constituency was, however, given an option of fine.

Also Read: North Is The Worst Place To Live In Nigeria -Sultan of Sokoto

Recall that on November 10 that a magistrate court found the lawmaker guilty of lying under oath while filling the CD001 INEC form prior to the 2019 elections.

The magistrate had, however, set a different date for sentencing of the lawmaker after his lawyer pleaded for leniency.

Mr Mela swore to an affidavit thrice, denying citizenship of another country whereas he has a British passport.

 

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