Former Aviation Minister during the Goodluck Jonathan administration, Femi Fani-Kayode, will know his fate on July 1 when judgement will be delivered on the money laundering charge levied against him.
The Judgment was due to be delivered on Thursday but it was adjourned due to the absence of prosecuting counsel Mr. Festus Keyamo.
Chief Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN) urged the judge to go on and deliver the judgment since it was ready.
The Senior Advocate told the Court that the Law did not make it mandatory that a prosecuting counsel must be present before a judgment is delivered in a criminal trial.
He also said even if someone is holding a watching brief for the prosecuting counsel, the judgment could still be delivered.
Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia, however, insisted that she was more comfortable reading the judgment in Keyamo’s presence.
She stood the case down for 10 minutes to enable the lawyer from Keyamo’s chambers, Mr. Festus Afeiyodion, to confirm from his principal the day he would be available.
About an hour later, Afeiyodion told the judge that Keyamo requested for a short stand-down till he concluded the matter he was handling elsewhere.
“Mr. Keyamo asked that the matter be stood down till 1.30pm. By then, he would be through and be here personally. In the alternative, he suggested that any other day could be chosen and he will be here,” Afeiyodion said.
Adedipe, after briefly conferring with Fani-Kayode, said they would not mind waiting till 1.30pm.
However, the judge said she would prefer not to deliver the judgment under pressure as the day would have been far gone by that time.
In order to prove that the judgment was indeed ready, she displayed a typewritten material on her tablet, saying she prefers to read it out at a convenient time.
Fani-Kayode was accused of making a transaction exceeding N500,000 on September 20, 2006, which was not done through a financial institution.
He was alleged to have accepted N2.1 million in cash, which was paid into his personal bank account by his aide, Supo Agbaje, while he served as Minister of Culture and Tourism.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the alleged offence, which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said contravenes the Money Laundering Act.
The judge, last November 17, directed Fani-Kayode to defend two of 40-count money laundering charges initially brought against him.
Holding that the commission did not prove the other counts sufficiently, she partially upheld Fani-Kayode’s no-case submission.
She discharged and acquitted him of the 38 counts on the grounds that the prosecution failed to prove “elements” of the allegations.
The judgment was adjourned till July 1.