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Witness at Fani-Kayode’s N4.6bn money laundering trial reveals how ministry paid N800m without contract

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An investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Shehu Shuaibu, has revealed how N800 million was paid from the Ministry of External Affairs into the account of a company, Joint Trust Dimensions Limited without any evidence of contract.

Shuaibu made this known when he appeared as a prosecution witness on Tuesday at the resumed trial of a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, and some others facing N4.6 billion money laundering charge.

Joint Trust Dimensions Limited is the 4th defendant in the charge, in which a former Minister of State for Finance, Nenadi Usman; Fani-Kayode; and one Danjuma Yusuf, were listed as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants, respectively.

The defendants are facing 17 counts before Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court in Lagos. All charges which they pleaded not guilty.

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At Tuesday’s proceedings, Shuaibu, who was led in evidence by the prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, identified Exhibit E8 as the statement of account of Joint Trust Dimensions Limited.

He said he found, from the statement of account, an inflow of N800m from the Ministry of External Affairs on January 16, 2015.

Shuaibu told the court that one Darbisu and one Benjamin were signatories to the firm’s account. He identified the two signatories as ex-officials of the Ministry of External Affairs, adding that they currently work with the National Intelligence Agency.

Under cross-examination, Shuaibu agreed with the first defence counsel, Ferdinand Orbih (SAN), that “neither of the defendants had any input in making entries in Exhibit E8.”

Justice Aikawa adjourned till October 31, 2019 for continuation of trial.

The EFCC is prosecuting Fani-Kayode and the others in connection with the campaign funding for the failed re-election bid of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015.

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