by Kolapo Olapoju
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has reportedly closed its case in the protracted trial of Femi Fani-Kayode, the former aviation minister who was charged with various counts of money laundering.
On Thursday, July 10, when the case, which was presided over by Justice Rita-Ofili Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court, Lagos, was mentioned, Mr Vitalis Ahaotu presented a letter on behalf of the prosecution counsel, Festus Keyamo informing the court of the closure of its case.
The defence counsel, Wale Akoni (SAN), consequently informed the court of his intention to file a no-case submission to the charges against his client.
Justice Rita-Ofili Ajumogobia gave the defence 21 days to file their application before the court and ordered the prosecution to respond within seven days, on receipt of the process.
Ajumogobia is the third judge to sit over the case in the last five years. Fani-Kayode was first arraigned in December 2008 before Justice Ramat Mohammed on a 47-count charge which he pleaded not guilty to. Following the transfer of Justice Mohammed, the case was later re-assigned to Justice Binta Murtala-Nyako who was equally transferred, before finally landing on the desk of Justice Ajumogobia on Feb. 11, 2013.
Among the series of charges against the former minister, is allegations that he collected cash payments in the tune of about N100 million, while serving as Minister of Aviation and Minister of Culture and Tourism, respectively.
The case has been adjourned till Oct. 28 for adoption of final written addresses.