Former Aviation Minister Fani-Kayode’s trial stalled over jurisdiction

Former Aviation Minister Femi Fani-Kayode's Trial Stalled Chief Femi Fani-Kayode arrives the Court Premises

Femi Fani-Kayode’s arraignment for alleged forgery stalled at the Lagos State special offences court, Ikeja, as defence counsel is challenging the jurisdiction of court to hear the charge.

Justice Oluwabunmi Abike-Fadipe has now adjourned to Friday, December 17, to rule on the arguments by opposing counsel to determine whether to take the plea of the accused person first before hearing his preliminary objection.

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The counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Rotimi Oyedepo urged the court to disregard Mr Fani-Kayode’s application seeking to set aside the 12-count charge, arguing that section 23 of the Administration of Criminal Justice law of Lagos state amended in October this year mandates arraignment to be taken first before any objection by the defendant.

But defense counsel, Wale Balogun wants the court to decline jurisdiction and set aside the charge in its entirely on the grounds that the EFCC Sis only empowered to prosecution economic and financial crimes,not forgery.

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Mr Balogun adds that the alleged offences occurred in Abuja not Lagos and so the special offences court lacks jurisdiction to hear the matter.

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