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Published On: Thu, Mar 20th, 2014

Fani-Kayode never syphoned aviation fund, witness tells court

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Fani-KayodeFrom Matthew Irinoye, Lagos

Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia of a Federal High Court in Lagos, was told yesterday by a prosecution witness that Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) investigations revealed that no missing fund was recorded during the tenure of former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode.

A third prosecution witness for the EFCC, Mr Bashir Abdullahi made the statement at the resumed trial of Fani-Kayode, on the alleged money laundering.

While giving evidence in-chief, Abdullahi, an investigating police officer with the anti-graft agency, told the court that the case file of the accused was assigned to him in 2008, for investigation.

He said that a letter was written to the First Inland Bank to produce the bank statement of the accused, and same was deposited with the EFCC.

The witness noted that during investigations, the accused was invited to the EFCC, where he made various statements in writing, as to theAviation Intervention Fund (AIF) received during his tenure.

During the cross examination by the defence Counsel, Mr Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), the witness told the court that investigations revealed that no part of the funds were missing during the tenure of the

accused.

“Our investigations revealed that a total of N19.5 billion was released as Aviation Intervention Fund, out of which a total of N8.5 billion was released during the tenure of Prof. Femi Aborishade, the predecessor of the accused.

“During the tenure of the accused, the sum of N11 billion was released and out of this sum, the accused disbursed a total of N3.8 billion, leaving a remainder of N7.2 billion in the Ministry’s account.

“Our investigations revealed that no part of the Aviation fund was missing during the tenure of the accused, and there were also no findings that the accused made any disbursement without due process”

the witness said.

The witness also affirmed that the accused after his assumption into office, set up a committee to probe the disbursement of the AIF made by his predecessor.

He said that following the findings of the committee, a report was then sent to the National Security Adviser on the disbursements.

However, the prosecutor, Mr Festus Keyamo, prayed the court for two dates, to enable him produce his remaining witnesses, and close the case of the prosecution.

The judge adjourned the case to April 16 and April 17 for continuation.

 

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