Justice M. S. Hassan of the Federal High Court in Lagos granted bail to Femi Fani-Kayode, a former aviation minister and Nenadi Esther Usman, a former finance minister. Both of them were directors of the 2015 Goodluck Jonathan Presidential Campaign Organisation.
Also admitted to bail is Danjuma Yusuf, the third accused in the 17-count charge that borders on conspiracy, stealing, corruption, and making cash payments exceeding the amount authorized by law brought against them Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The charges were filed by the EFCC two days after Fani-Kayode was attacked in EFCC detention facility by an extremist operative, Sulaiman Kabir, who threatened to kill the former minister for being “an infidel” following failed attempts to stop Fani-Kayode from reading his bible.
Fani-Kayode and Usman as two of the many members of the main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP facing trial for corruption in President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption fight. Several observers have noted the lopsided nature of the anti-corruption war which targets only members of the PDP while ignoring monumental allegations and indictments against chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
Some of such APC chieftains whose corruption allegations have remain untouched by the EFCC are serving cabinet members in Buhari’s government like Rotimi Amaechi (transportation minister), Kayode Fayemi (solid minerals minister), and Tunde Fashola (power, housing, and works ministers). The three men are reportedly huge funders of Buhari’s election campaigns.
The defendants alongside Jointrust Dimensions Nigeria Limited are alleged to have diverted about N4.9 billion belonging to the federal government of Nigeria for political and personal use.
All the defendants pleaded not guilty at their arraignment on June 18, 2016.
Ruling on their bail applications, Justice Hassan granted the defendant’s bail in the sum of N250 million each with two sureties in like sum.
According to an EFCC statement e-mailed to The Trent and signed by Wilson Uwujaren, the spokesman of the agency, the sureties must have landed property within the jurisdiction of the court and deposit their title documents with the chief registrar of the court.
The EFCC is expected to verify the title documents within seven days and the sureties shall also file affidavit of means and deposit their passport with the court.
The case is adjourned to October 19, 20 and 21, 2016 for trial.