A few hours after his lawyer told a federal judge in Abuja that a possibility of out of court settlement is being explored, former Aviation minister Femi Fani-Kayode issued a denial.
In a statement Monday, Mr. Fani-Kayode described such reports as “false, embarrassing, and mischievous.”
Mr. Fani-Kayode is facing a five-count charge of alleged money laundering amounting to N26 million before Justice John Tsoho of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) accused the ex-minister of collecting N26 million from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and using same for media campaign.
Earlier on Monday, Ahmed Raji, Mr. Fani-Kayode’s lawyer, asked the judge to adjourn the proceedings to allow him explore other options of settlement aside from going to trial.
“My Lord, I am just coming into the case and so I crave your indulgence to enable me familiarise myself with the case,” said Mr. Raji, a senior advocate of Nigeria.
“Secondly, looking at the facts of the case and money involved, I believe that there are other options we can explore.
“The case involves the sum of N26 million and the law allows you to explore the option of plea bargain and so many other options rather than go through trial.”
But in a swift reaction to his lawyer’s arguments, Mr. Fani-Kayode, through his spokesperson, Jude Ndukwe, said the plea bargain option was out of the question.
“Under no circumstances will Chief Fani-Kayode pay any money back to EFCC or any other government agency because he never collected any money from any government agency in the first place.”