The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has been granted an order that would enable the commission to retrieve all the documents it tendered as exhibits in the N4.6billion money laundering trial of a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode.
This was indicated in a judgement issued by Justice Daniel Osiagor of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday allowing it to re-file the allegations before the court’s Abuja division.
The anti-graft agency requested that an order be given to retrieve all the documentary evidence already tendered before the court, because the Court had ruled that it lacked jurisdiction in the matter.
This means that the case that would be moved from Federal High Court in Lagos to Abuja division.
The commission had dragged Fani-Kayode, a former Minister of State for Finance, Nenandi Usman; Yusuf Danjuma, a former Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria; and a firm, Jointrust Dimensions Nigeria Ltd over alleged laundering of N4.6 billion in the run-up to the 2015 general elections on 17 charges.
The defendants disputed the court’s jurisdiction in the middle of the trial before Justice Rilwan Aikawa in Lagos, claiming that the facts of the case occurred in Abuja, not Lagos.
But Justice Aikawa dismissed their objection after which they went on appeal.
The appellate court later upheld the defendants’ appeal, holding that the Lagos court lacks jurisdiction over the case.
At the case’s resumed hearing on Tuesday, EFCC Prosecutor Mr Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN) told the court that, in light of the Court of Appeal’s decision, all exhibits and documents tendered by the prosecution should be released so that the commission can reopen the case at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The application was allowed by Justice Osiagor.
The EFCC charged Fani-Kayode and others with unlawfully retaining about N4.6billion that they reasonably ought to have known was part of the profits of unlawful theft and corruption.