A Chief Magistrate’s Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos yesterday ordered the remand of a former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for three weeks.
Chief Magistrate Mrs. Bola Osunsanmi granted the remand application after taking arguments from counsel to the commission, Mr. A. N. Anana and Wale Balogun, for the defendant.
Ordering Fani-Kayode’s remand, she said: “The defendant is hereby remanded in EFCC custody for three weeks pending a proper arraignment in court.
“The applicants have never suppressed the date of the arrest of the defendant before this court.
“Also, no evidence of the suit of the defendant before the FCT High Court was tendered by his counsel before the court.”
The EFCC brought Fani-Kayode to court to seek a remand order against him over a two-count charge of obtaining money by false pretences and the alleged theft of N1.5 billion, property of the Federal Ministry of External Affairs.
The anti-graft agency said the remand order was urgently needed to prevent Fani-Kayode from tampering with evidence.
During the proceedings, the counsel to the EFCC urged the court to remand the ex-minister.
His words: “We have an ex parte application for an order of remand dated May 10, 2016, made pursuant to Section 261 (1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law.
“Attached to the application is a nine-paragraph affidavit of urgency, seeking the remand of the defendant in the EFCC custody.
“We need this order of remand because, if he is not remanded, he might interfere with the investigations in this matter,” Anana said.
But counsel to Fani-Kayode, however, opposed the EFFC’s application for remand.
He said: “The applicants have suppressed some facts which your lordship would question why the application of the EFCC is being taken ex parte.
“There is a pending suit before the FCT High Court to challenge the detention of the defendant.
“The suit is between the defendant and the EFCC, who are aware of the suit and have been served.
“The defendant has been in EFCC detention since May 9 after which he was granted administrative bail, the conditions of which he met on May 12.
“In Abuja, they got another detention order for 14 days and what the EFCC did after was to bring him to Lagos.”
Balogun urged the court not to detain Fani-Kayode because of the pending suit he had instituted against the EFCC.
“My client’s detention is a breach of the constitution; it is either he is granted bail or charged to court,” Balogun said.
The chief magistrate, thereafter, adjourned the matter to June 15, 2016 when the 21 days remand order will lapse.
Fani-Kayode arrived at the court at about 10.55a.m.
He was dressed in a white Kaftan with a pair of white slippers.
At about 12:30p.m. when the matter was called, Anana told the court of the application for an order of remand against the defendant.
But the matter was stood down for 2.00p.m.
At 2.07p.m., the matter was called again and the chief magistrate delivered her ruling in three minutes.