Former Minister Nenadi Usman seeks transfer, severance of criminal charge

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Nenadi Usman, a former minister of finance, on Monday informed a Federal High Court, Lagos of her application seeking severance and transfer of a criminal charge pending before the court.

Nenadi-Usman

Usman is charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alongside, a former Aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode and Danjuma Yusuf, on a 17 count charge bordering on the offences.

Fani-Kayode who was also Director, Media and Publicity of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign organisation, was absent in court.

His counsel, Mr Wale Balogun said the accused absence was due to his inability to perfect bail conditions, after his arraignment over criminal charge before a Federal High Court, Abuja.

However, counsel to Usman, Mr F.O Orbih (SAN) informed the court of his application, seeking severance of the criminal charges while praying for a transfer of the case to Abuja division.

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Orbih said that his application was predicated on the basis of logistics and bearing in mind that the offence was committed in Abuja.

He, therefore, prayed for a long date to enable parties tidy their processes, and ensure the presence of the second accused for the applications to be argued.

Meanwhile, the prosecution, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, who confirmed the arraignment of the second accused, said his arrest and detention was based on a different charge being handled by a different prosecutor.

In his ruling, Justice Muslim Hassan, adjourned the case to December 12 for hearing of the application seeking severance and transfer of the charge, and vacated an earlier date of Nov. 15.

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The judge, however, held that the court would not make any comment as to the arrest of the second accused after being granted bail.

In the charge, the accused were alleged to have committed the offences between January and March 2015.

From counts one to seven, they were alleged to have unlawfully retained N3.8 billion which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act of stealing and corruption.

From counts eight to 14, the accused were alleged to have unlawfully used N970 million which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of an unlawful act of corruption.

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While from counts 15 to 17 Fani-Kayode and one Olubode Oke, allegedly made cash payments of N30 million in excess of the amount allowed by law, without going through a financial institution.

Besides, Fani-Kayode was alleged to have made payments to one Paste Poster Co (PPC) of No 125 Lewis St., Lagos, in excess of amounts allowed by law.

All offences were said to have contravened the provisions of sections 15 (3) (4), 16 (2) (b), and 16 (5) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.

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