A former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, who is being tried for an alleged fraud of N4.9bn, has lost the bid to have the case transferred from Lagos to Abuja.
The trial judge, Justice Rilwan Aikawa, of the Federal High Court in Lagos in a ruling on Tuesday dismissed Fani-Kayode’s transfer application for lacking in merit.
Contrary to arguments by Fani-Kayode’s lawyer, Mr. Norrison Quakers (SAN), that the cause of action leading to the case took place in Abuja, the judge observed that parts of the alleged illegal transactions by Fani-Kayode leading to the charge took place in Lagos.
The judge noted that based on Fani-Kayode’s request, the immediate-past Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, had earlier transferred the case from Justice Muslim Hassan of the same court to the present judge, who is also in Lagos.
Justice Aikawa held that if the CJ had found merit in the request to transfer the case from Lagos to Abuja, he would have done it after Justice Hassan withdrew from the case rather than transfer it to another judge in Lagos.