By Uche Amunike
Shortly after Ex-Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode’s arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for forgery allegation was made public, he dismissed it by calling it a friendly invitation by the EFCC and further stated that he was granted bail on self recognition by the commission.
Fani-Kayode confirmed these developments in a tweet where he also dismissed claims of being arrested by operatives of the EFCC Lagos Zonal Command.
His words: ‘Just arrived at the George Hotel for dinner. I was never arrested by the EFCC. I was invited & I flew down to Lagos to see them. I arrived in their office at 2.00 pm & left at 8.30 pm. I was granted bail on self-recognition. They were very polite & professional. Thanks be to God,’ the message also read.
He followed up his tweet with pictures which he indicated were taken at George hotel, to drive home his point.
EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwajuren was approached for comments on Femi Fani-Kayode’s arrest by the anti-graft agency, and he confirmed it to be true.
The EFCC had earlier confirmed Femi Fani-Kayode’s arrest to the press on Tuesday and reliable sources confirmed that Mr Fani-Kayode was being investigated for forging his medical report in order to avoid being at his ongoing trial for alleged fraud.
The anti-graft agency is prosecuting Fani-Kayode alongside former Minister of State for Finance, Nenadi Usman and Yusuf Danjuma former Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), with a company known as Joint Trust Dimensions Nigeria Limited on a 17 count charge of conspiracy money laundering and fraud amounting to N4.9b. Fani-Kayode has been having a running battle with the anti-graft agency for a while, which made them remand him for 67 days in 2016 alongside the former Finance boss, Nevada Usman. Even though they denied the allegations, they were each eventually granted N250m bail.
A fine of 200,000 naira was levied against the former Minister and Presidential spokesman for his absence from court by the Federal High Court in Lagos in respect of the alleged N4.9b fraud.
Judge Daniel Osaigor of the Federal High Court in Lagos gave the order on October 13, asking Femi Fani-Kayode to pay the fine or face the consequences of having his bail revoked for failing to appear for his re-arraignment and adjourned the case till November 30 2021 for the re-arraignment of the defendants.
Aside from Femi Fani-Kayode’s arrest, he is also standing trial before the Federal High Court in Abuja. This time, for diverting funds he allegedly took fraudulently from the office of the National Security Adviser before the 2015 Presidential election.
Recall that Femi Fani-Kayode, who recently defected from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC), served as the spokesperson for the 2015 PDP Presidential campaigns for the re-election of former President Goodluck Jonathan who eventually lost to the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari