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Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Alleged N4.6bn fraud: Court admits Fani-Kayode’s account statement

Alleged N4.6bn fraud: Court admits Fani-Kayode’s account statement

Justice Rilwan Mohammed Aikawa of a Federal High Court in Lagos has admitted the account statement of a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, at Zenith Bank Plc, as an exhibit.

The admissibility of the document was a subject of heated debate between the prosecution and the Fani-Kayode’s lawyer, Norrison Quakers (SAN).

However, in a ruling today on the contentious issue, Justice Aikawa held that the document has been properly certified by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

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The judge added that contrary to the views of Fani-Kayode’s lawyer, the second prosecution witness (PW2), Teslim Ajuwon, had also complied with the provisions of Section 89 (H) and 90 (E) (1-IV) of the Evidence Act in tendering the document.

“I cannot decipher where PW2 had fluted or failed to comply with the provisions of Section 89 (H) and 90 (E) (1-IV) of the Evidence Act. He has fully complied with the provisions of the section.

“I do not see any ambiguity in the provisions of the section which says evidence can be given orally or by affidavit. Therefore, PW2 has laid sufficient foundation for the admissibility of the document sought to be tendered.

“The objections to the admissibility of the document are lacking in merit and are overruled. The statement of account as well as the certification is hereby admitted”, Justice Aikawa held.

EFCC’s lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, had urged the court to admit the statement of account during the examination-in-chief of a compliance officer with the bank, Teslim Ajuwon, at the on-going trial of Fani-Kayode and three others over alleged N4.6 billion fraud.

Ajuwon had in his testimony told the court that upon a request, the former minister’s statement of account at Zenith Bank Plc was forwarded to the anti-graft agency.

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