Hearing in a case involving the erstwhile minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, who is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial crimes Commission, EFCC, over his alleged role in the mismanagement of funds meant to fight insurgency during President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration commenced on Tuesday before Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama Abuja.
Arraigned on November 10, 2016, Mr Fani-Kayode is facing a 5-count charge of money laundering preferred against him by the EFCC.
He was said to have received through his police aide, Victor Ehiabhi, the cash sum of N26million paid to him by the former Director of Finance and Administration, DFA, of the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, Shuaibu Salisu on the instruction of the former NSA, Sambo Dasuki.
The transaction was done without going through financial institution as required by the Money Laundering Act.
While being led in evidence by counsel to the EFCC, Johnson Ojogbane, Ehiabhi, who testified as PW1, narrated how he received N26million cash on behalf his principal, Fani-Kayode.
Ehiabhi and Salisu had through written statements, admitted paying the money to FFK in cash.
“On November 21, 2014, my principal, who was out of town, directed me to stay in town. I got a call from one Mr. Francis, his gardener, telling me that Fani-Kayode called him and directed that I should accompany two of the domestic staff to pick a message for him from the office of the National Security Adviser at the villa. I later got a call from the defendant confirming the directive.
“His domestic driver (one Mr. Kenneth) was directed to take Francis, Esther (another domestic help) and I to the villa. At the villa, Francis and Kenneth were asked to stay outside while I and Esther were ushered inside.
“The staff we met inside asked ‘who is Ehiabhi?’, I responded that I was the one and I was asked to show my ID card after which he brought out a paper and said I should sign.
“At first, I hesitated, but he insisted that since I am a policeman that I should sign on behalf of the defendant. When I signed, he then brought out a cash sum of N26million all in N1000 denomination (mint) which he placed in a Ghana-must-go bag and handed over to me.
“When we got home, I called the defendant who directed me to ensure maximum security in his home until he comes back. At about 11pm that night, he came back and I handed the money over to him.
“Subsequently, I was invited by the EFCC, where I was confronted with the document I signed on November 21, 2014. I volunteered my statement, hence my testimony today”, Mr Ehiabhi told the court.