The travails of former aviation minister, Femi Fani Kayode, deepened on Monday as he is to spend another three weeks in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) an Ikeja magistrates’ court in Lagos has ordered.
The EFCC through an ex parte motion before Magistrate Bola Osunsanmi, sought the court to remand him over a two-count charge of obtaining money by false pretences and the alleged theft of N1.5 billion, property of the federal ministry of external affairs.
Magistrate Osunsanmi after hearing both parties, EFCC and Fani Kayode’s counsel, ordered: “The defendant is hereby remanded in EFCC custody for three weeks pending a proper arraignment in court.
“The applicants have never suppressed the date of the arrest of the defendant before this court.
“Also, no evidence of the suit of the defendant before the FCT High Court was tendered by his counsel before the court.”
The EFCC argued that the remand order is urgently needed to prevent Fani-Kayode from tampering with evidence.
“We have an exparte application for an order of remand dated May 10, 2016 made pursuant to Section 261 (1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law,” he said.
“Attached to the application is a nine-paragraph affidavit of urgency seeking the remand of the defendant in the EFCC custody.
“We need this order of remand because if he is not remanded, he might interfere with the investigations in this matter.”
In a counter argument, Wale Balogun, counsel to Fani-Kayode, Wale Balogun said the application had suppressed facts, therefore should not be granted.
“The applicants have suppressed some facts which Your Lordship would question why the application of the EFCC is being taken ex parte,” he said.
“There is a pending suit before the FCT High Court to challenge the detention of the defendant.
“The suit number is FCT/HC/1767/2016 between the defendant and the EFCC who are aware of the suit and have been served.
“The defendant has been in EFCC detention since May 9 after which he was granted administrative bail the conditions of which he met on May 12.
“In Abuja, they got another detention order for 14 days and what the EFCC did after was to bring him to Lagos.
“My client’s detention is a breach of the constitution; it is either he is granted bail or charged to court,” Balogun said.
Fani Kayode a fiery critic of the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari has been in EFCC detention since May 9.