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Court fixes December 5 to rule in ex-minister's N4.9bn fraud case

EFCC urged the court to admit Fani-Kayode's Zenith account statement, saying it is vital to proving money laundering allegations against him.

Fani-Kayode had objected to the tendering of his Zenith Bank account statement as an exhibit.

The former minister is being tried for an alleged fraud of N4.9 billion before Justice Rilwan Aikawa.

He is standing trial alongside former Minister of State for Finance, Senator Nenadi Usman, who was listed as the one defendant in the charge, one Danjuma Yusuf and a company, Joint Trust Dimensions Limited.

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During Tuesday's proceedings in the case, Fani-Kayode's lawyer, Mr. Norrison Quakers (SAN), resisted the move by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to tender his client's Zenith Bank account statement as an exhibit.

Quakers contended that the account statement did not comply with the provisions of the Evidence Act.

He said, "A statement of account qualifies as a banker’s book and there is a requirement to be complied with. On the face of it, this document has not complied with Section 90 of the Evidence Act.

"Having failed to comply with this section, we urged the court to allow the document to fly out of the window."

But the EFCC counsel, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, urged the presiding judge to admit Fani-Kayode's account statement, saying it is vital to proving money laundering allegations against the ex-minister.

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He said the document has fulfilled the Evidence Act requirements, because the prosecution witness, Teslim Ajuwon, a Compliance Officer with Zenith Bank, has already laid the proper foundation for it.

"PW2 (Ajuwon) specifically laid the foundation required in admitting a banker’s book.

"The certification can either be done orally or by an affidavit by officers of the bank.

"PW2 orally and on oath has certified this document. There’s strict adherence, nor even substantial adherence.

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"This document is extremely relevant to the facts in issue. It forms the subject of the charge against the second defendant (Fani-Kayode)," Oyedepo said.

After hearing both lawyers out, Justice Aikawa adjourned till December 5 for ruling.

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