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Alleged N26M Fraud: Absence Of Fani-Kayode’s Lead Counsel Stalls Trial

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The trial of the former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode who is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission at the Federal High Court in Abuja over allegation bordering on 26 million naira fraud has been stalled due to the absence of the leader of his legal team, Ahmed Raji.

When the matter was called, the prosecution counsel, Farouk Abdullah informed the trial judge Justice John Tsoho that the business of the day was the cross examination of the third prosecution witness.
He announced that the witness was in court and was ready to face questions from defence.

But Zakari Garba who held brief for Raji  pleaded for an adjournment to enable the leader of the defence team apple time to appear for the cross examination of the prosecution counsel.
Garba informed the judge that the hearing notice was communicated to defence late and that the lead counsel Raji was out Town and could not make it to the court.

The EFCC counsel, Abdullah opposed the submission of the defence insisting that Garba should cross examine the pw3 in the absence of Raji.
He noted that the matter was last adjourned at the instance of the defence, arguing that the defence do not want to cross examine the pw3.

He subsequently asked the court to dismiss the witness 
Garba quickly reacted that it will not serve the interest of justice if the defence is denied the opportunity to cross examine the pw3.
He pleaded that the court should allow the lead counsel, Raji to come and take on the Pw3.

In a short ruling, Justice Tsoho agreed with Garba that since Raji is on record as the lead counsel that the court will not deny the defence the right of cross examining the witness.
He thereafter adjourned till October 26 for defence to cross examine the pw3.

It will be recalled that the former Minister of Aviation was arraigned for allegedly collecting N26 million from the Office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and using same for media campaign, contrary to Section 15 (2) (b) of the Money Laundering Act.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge and was admitted to bail in the sum of N50 million and one surety in like sum.

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