Femi Fani-Kayode, an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He was arrested at a Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, and moved to a nearby EFCC office.
The former minister, who was in court over his forgery trial, was walking out after the matter was adjourned till January 24, 2021, when he was approached by an EFCC investigator.
He was subsequently arrested and moved to custody, a week after his earlier arrest.
An EFCC investigator, Mr Shehu Shuaibu, said the ex-Minister of Aviation was being quizzed over false documents.
The anti-graft agency had preferred a 17-count charge of N4.6billion money laundering against Fani-Kayode alongside a former Minister of State for Finance, Nenandi Usman.
Also charged were Yusuf Danjuma, a former Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) and a company, Jointrust Dimentions Nigeria Ltd.
The accused who were arraigned before Justice Mohammed Aikawa of a Federal High Court in Lagos had pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bail.
Trial had began before Justice Aikawa and witnesses were still being led in evidence, until Aikawa was transferred out of the Lagos division.
The charge was subsequently assigned to a new judge, Justice Daniel Osaigor, and the defendants were scheduled for re-arraignment on October 13, 2021.
But on the said adjourned date, Fani-Kayode was absent from court and defence counsel, who appeared on his behalf on the said day, told the court that he was on admission at Kubwa General hospital in Abuja.
He had prayed for an adjournment on that grounds on behalf of second defendant but, EFCC prosecutor, Mrs Bilikisu Buhari, informed the court that the defendant was fond of adopting same tactics whenever he does not want to attend court.
After going through the court’s records , Justice Osiagor noted that it was clear that the defendant had issued similar letter of excuses five times earlier.
The court had consequently ordered the defendant to be present in court on the next date without fail.
The court also ordered him to pay a fine of N200,000 in addition.
On Tuesday, when the case was mentioned , all defendants were present in court.
Counsel to second , third and fourth defendants were respectively, Messrs Morrison Quakers (SAN), and Clement Onwuenwunor.
First defence counsel was absent, Chief Ferdinard Orbih, following a letter to that effect.
The prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, did not oppose the letter of first defence counsel.
Oyedepo, however, informed the court that the prosecution was glad that the court had figured out from its record that Fani-Kayode had sought repeated excuses from the court.
He told the court that the prosecution had recently discovered that all letters sent by Fani-Kayode were fake.
At this point, the court stopped the prosecutor on the grounds that it was a matter the agency ought to thrash out before the court acted on the letters to grant an adjournment.
Osiagor said that having granted an adjournment on the letters, the court had become “functus officio”.
In response, Oyedepo told the court that the agency was currently working on the report and will do the needful.
It was after the adjournment that Fani-Kayode was arrested.
Provided by BONA NAIJA