Former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, might be on his way to jail, following the judgement delivered by a Federal High Court, in Lagos, on Tuesday.
The court dismissed an application by Fani-Kayode, seeking the transfer of a money laundering case against him.
Recall, that Fani-Kayode was first arraigned on June 28, 2016, before Justice Muslim Hassan of the same court, but the Judge withdrew from the case, on March 16, 2017, following an application by the former Minister, citing likely bias by the Judge.
The case was thereafter re-assigned to Justice Mohammed Aikawa, and the accused was re-arraigned on the same charges.
At the last adjourned date on June 21, Defence Counsel, Norrison Quakers, SAN, had prayed the court to transfer the case to its Abuja division, arguing that the court lacked jurisdiction to adjudicate on the matter.
Quakers argued that the facts of the case showed that all the transactions carried out by the accused as Director of Media and Publicity of the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, took place in Abuja.
However, EFCC’s Lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, opposed the application, and urged the court to refuse it on the grounds that the transactions as well as cheques and receipts in furtherance of same, were done in Lagos.
Oyedepo thereafter, urged the court to dismiss the application for transfer, and described it as a mere waste of the court’s time.
At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, Justice Aikawa, in his ruling, held that some of the authorities cited by the Defence Counsel, were delivered before the enactment of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, which he noted had provided exceptions to the issues of venue of court.
“In the case before me, the prosecution avers in its counter-affidavit, that “the sum of N30 million was paid to PW1 (Olusegun Idowu) of Paste Posters Company Ltd, who has his office in Lagos.”
“This in my view, shows that all facts leading to the transaction was done in Lagos, and only evidence will prove otherwise.
“In the light of all these, it is clear that the facts and circumstances of this case falls into the exceptions of the law regarding criminal trials.
“There is no justification to warrant a transfer of this case to Abuja; the interest of justice requires that the trial of this case continues in this court.
“This application hereby fails and is accordingly dismissed”, he ruled.