– The trial of Femi Fani-Kayode has officially begun at Federal High Court, Abuja on Tuesday, April 25
– A police officer has narrated how he got N26 million for the former minister of aviation – The prosecution has accused Fani-Kayode of colluding with former National Security Adviser (NSA)
Former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode is now officially on trial at Federal High Court in Abuja starting Tuesday, April 25.
The trial has begun with Mr Victor Ehiabhi, a police officer, narrating how he helped the Fani-Kayode to receive N26 million from the office of the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki in 2014.
The police officer identified himself as an Intelligence Operative with the Force Intelligence Bureau. He told the court that he was deployed from the bureau’s Very Important Persons Protection (VIP) Unit, to serve as Fani-Kayode’s security aide before the 2015 presidential election.
Fani-Kayode was in custody of the EFCC, but was later released pending further investigation
Ehiabi said he was accompanied by Fani-Kayode’s domestic staff to receive the money from office of the NSA at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He also said the money which was packed inside a Ghana-Must-Go bag, was handed to him at a time the Fani-Kayode was out of town.
The witness said: “On November 21, 2014, on that fateful day, my principal traveled out of town and he detailed me to be within town.
“The gardener and other domestic staff were also around within the premises. The house is at Aso Drive Abuja.
“One of the gardeners, called Francis, called me on phone and told me that the defendant had called him on phone that I should accompany him (Francis) and another domestic staff, Esther, to the National Security Adviser’s office at the Villa.
“And not too long after, the defendant himself called me and told me the same thing. The driver named Kenneth was directed to drive us to the venue.
“We moved to the venue at Suleiman Barawo Street in the Villa. While at the venue, the driver, Kenneth, and the gardener, Francis, were asked to stay in the compound while I and Esther walked into the building.
“We identified ourselves as personnel of the defendant. The staff in the office asked who was Victor. I answered I was the one. They asked me to tender my identity card and I did.
“The man in the office brought out a paper and asked me to endorse it on behalf of the defendant. The sum of the N26m was written on the document for the defendant.
“I initially decided not to endorse the document on behalf of the defendant. But the man in the office insisted that since I was the policeman I should be the one to endorse the document, so I signed it.
“The man in the office brought out the sum of N26m in N1,000 denominations, and put it in one ‘Ghana-Must-Go’ bag. He gave it to us, Esther and I, for the defendant.
“We took it out of the office and beckoned on Francis and Kenneth to take it to the booth. So we departed from the house and departed to house of the defendant with the money.
“On getting to the house, we took it inside the house. As of the time the money was taken to the house, the defendant had not returned. As I said earlier he had travelled out of town.”
According to Vanguard, Ehiabi said that when Fani-Kayode returned to Abuja, he invited him and others involved in moving the money home and thanked them.
“The defendant had called me on phone and told me to ensure maximum security within the house until his arrival.
“On the same day, at about 11pm, the defendant returned. When the defendant returned from his journey, he acknowledged the money and he sent for us, myself, Esther and thanked us.
“Subsequently I was invited by the EFCC. On getting to the office of the EFCC, I was asked if I ever worked with the defendant and I said yes.
“While answering the question, the personnel brought out the document that I signed at the Office of the National Security Adviser on November 21, 2014. There and then I was made to write a statement,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, Mr Wale Balogun, the counsel to the defendant, applied for an adjournment to enable him to cross-examine the witness.
Therefore, trial Justice John Tsoho adjourned the matter till June 6. The prosecuting counsel was Mr Johnson Ojogbane.
Meanwhile, there was a mild drama at the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court this morning, April 25, as security operatives, barred former Minister of Aviation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, from entering inside the court scheduled to deliver ruling on whether the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu, should be released on bail.