A Federal High Court today dismissed the money laundering charges levelled against ex Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode. Recall that his trial started as far back as 2008. He was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for alleged laundering of about N100 million while he was minister of culture and tourism and aviation.
Delivering her judgment, the Judge, Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia ruled that the prosecution’s case was “feeble” and failed to provide “copious evidence” linking the accused to money laundering.
The prosecuting counsel, Mr. Festus Keyamo, while urging the court to accordingly convict Fani-Kayode mentioned 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 (Prohibition) Act.
“Once you cannot explain the source of the large sum 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 person,” Keyamo affirmed.
Femi Fani-Kayode’s lawyer, Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), in his summary maintained that there were no convincing proofs from the prosecutors. He said his client made no confession to the EFCC and the agency failed to show that Fani-Kayode actually accepted a cash sum of N1million as alleged and the person he collected it from.