The trial of former Minister of Aviation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, again stalled, on Wednesday, as a result of the inability of Festus Keyamo’s chamber to reply to the written address filed by Fani-Kayode’s lawyer on fiat.
Fani-Kayode is standing trial on a 47-count charge of money laundry related offences before the court.
As at the last hearing, Fani-Kayode’s lawyer, Mr Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), had told the court that lawyers from Keyamo’s Chambers could not prosecute the charge against the former minister on the ground that the authority to prosecute the charge was not issued to the chamber but to Festus Keyamo, who is only recognised by the Section 24 of the Legal Practional Act.
But when the case was called on Wednesday, Adedipe told the court that he had filed a written address to the question of fiat and the said application has been served on Keyamo’s Chambers, adding that the chamber is yet to reply.
However, Mr Vitalis Haotu, leading other lawyers from Keyamo’s Chambers, informed the court that they were served on Monday at about 6.30 pm, which is assumed to be Tuesday, and that there is no way they could respond to the address.
He urged the court to grant them a short adjournment to reply to the address.
Consequently, the trial judge, Justice Rita Ofilli-Ajumogobia, adjourned the matter till Monday, December 6, 2013 for mention and continuation of trial
The former minister of aviation was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), over the alleged money laundry and financial impropriety to the tune of N230 million.
The former minister’s re-arraignment was consequent upon the re-assignment of the case to another judge, following the transfer of the former judge handling the matter.
Fani-Kayode was previously arraigned on December 23, 2008. He pleaded not guilty and was granted bail in the sum of N200 million, with two sureties in like sum.