The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday re-arrested Femi Fani-Kayode, a former minister of aviation, at the Federal High Court in Lagos.
It was learnt that Fani-Kayode was re-arrested investigations into alleged document falsification.
The former minister, who was in court over his forgery trial, was walking out after the matter was adjourned till January 24, 2021, when he was approached by an EFCC investigator. After discussions with Shehu Shuaibu, the EFCC investigator, the defendant entered his vehicle and followed the EFCC operatives to their office.
Speaking later to journalists, Shuaibu confirmed that Fani-Kayode was being quizzed over false documents.
The anti-graft agency had preferred a 17-count charge of N4.6billion money laundering against Fani-Kayode alongside a former minister of state for finance, Nenandi Usman; Yusuf Danjuma, a former Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) and a company, Jointrust Dimentions Nigeria Ltd.
The trial had begun before Justice Mohammed Aikawa and witnesses were still being led in evidence until Justice Aikawa was transferred out of the Lagos division. The case was consequently assigned to a new judge, Justice Daniel Osaigor, and the defendants were scheduled for re-arraignment on October 13.
But on the said adjourned date, Fani Kayode was absent from court and defence counsel who appeared on his behalf had told the court that he was on admission at Kubwa General hospital in Abuja. He had prayed for an adjournment on that grounds on behalf of the second defendant.
But EFCC prosecutor who appeared on that day, Mrs Bilikisu Buhari, informed the court that same tactics had always been adopted by the defendant whenever he does not want to attend court.
After going through the court’s records, Justice Osiagor noted that it was clear that the defendant had issued similar letters of excuse five times. The court had consequently ordered the defendant to be present in court on the next date without fail.
The court also ordered him to pay a fine of N200,000 in addition.
On Tuesday, when the case was mentioned, all defendants were present in court. Counsel to second third and fourth defendants were respectively, Messrs Morrison Quakers (SAN), and Clement Onwuenwunor. First defence counsel was absent, Chief Ferdinard Orbih following a letter to that effect.
The prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo did not oppose the letter of first defence counsel. Oyedepo however, informed the court that the prosecution was glad that the court had figured out from its record that the second defendant (Fani Kayode) had sought repeated excuses from the court. He told the court that the prosecution had recently discovered that all letters sent by Fani-Kayode were fake.
The court, however, stopped the prosecutor on the grounds that it was a matter the agency ought to thrash out before the court acted on the letters to grant an adjournment.
Oyedepo, in response, told the court that the agency was currently working on the report and will do the needful
The case was thereafter adjourned till January 24, 2022. While Fani-Kayode was stepping out of the court, he was accosted by the EFCC investigator, who then effected the arrest.