A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday granted bail to a former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani- Kayode, in the sum of N50m after he was arraigned on five counts of N26m fraud.
Fani-Kayode, a Director of Media and Publicity in the campaign organisation of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, pleaded not guilty to all the five counts preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The EFCC accused the defendant of diverting N26m allegedly received from the Office of the National Security Adviser while Sambo Dsuki was in office.
The EFCC also accused him of handing the said N26m without going through financial institution as required under the Money Laundering Act.
Fani-Kayode is already standing trial along with others in the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court with respect to the ONSA funds.
But he is the sole defendant in the fresh charges marked FHC/ABJ/CR/140/2016 filed before the Abuja Division of the court.
Shortly after the arraignment on Thursday, Fani-Kayode’s lawyer, Mr. Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), moved his client’s bail application which was opposed by EFCC’s lawyer, Mr. Johnson Ojogbane.
But the trial judge, Justice John Tsoho, dismissed the EFCC’s objection to the bail application, holding that the defendant was presumed innocent.
The judge granted bail to the accused in the sum of N50m with one surety.
As part of the bail conditions, the court also ordered the accused to deposit his passport with the court registrar pending the conclusion of his trial.
The judge ordered that the accused be remanded in prison pending when he would meet the bail conditions.
But it was learnt that he met the conditions before leaving the court premises on Thursday.
Justice Tsoho adjourned till December 14 for commencement of trial.