On Thursday, a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode officially returned to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Fani-Kayode was presented to President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja, by the Chairman of APC National Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni.
Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State was also in attendance.
While speaking, Fani-Kayode said he was instrumental to the defection of three Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors to APC.
However, two years ago when the rumour mill was agog that the former Minister had joined the APC, he completely ruled out the possibility of defecting to the ruling party.
Taking to Twitter, he had at the time described the ruling party as “a filthy, rat-infested sinking ship.”
He had also christened the party as “darkness” and “the Almajiri Peoples Congress (APC)”.
SaharaReporters had in February 2021 revealed that the former minister was planning to join the ruling APC because of his current financial status and corruption cases.
According to family sources, Fani-Kayode was financially down and struggling to maintain his extravagant lifestyle.
EXCLUSIVE: How âPovertyâ Drove Fani-Kayode Back To His @OfficialAPCNg TormentorsâSources | Sahara Reporters@realFFK apart from being broke is also afraid of getting âOlisa Metuh treatmentâ meted out to him in his multi-billion naira cases...— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) February 9, 2021
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“He is currently broke, when he was broke during the former President Olusegun Obasanjo era, he started attacking Obasanjo until he was offered a position which fuelled his drug filled lifestyle. As soon as he got a job with Obasanjo, he started attacking Prof. Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe. That was why Obasanjo said what politicians need to do for Fani-Kayode to hail them is to give him food,” a source had told SaharaReporters.
“Years after, he started attacking former President Goodluck Jonathan. Jonathan’s wife was so scared of him that she begged her husband to employ him, that was why he was made the spokesman for the PDP’s presidential campaign committee.
“When APC came on board, he started attacking President Muhammadu Buhari because of the various corruption cases against him but the late chief of staff, Abba Kyari, was shielding him from trial. Now that Kyari is dead and his trial is progressing well, he is afraid that he might get Metuh’s treatment. He is expected to be in court on February 23 and 24, 2021. He doesn’t want to go to prison.
“In addition, he is very broke. I hope you are aware he just had a new baby. He doesn’t even have money for the unknown wife and baby’s upkeep. So, he started reaching out to APC stalwarts. He also told some of us that journalists conspired against his nationwide tour of states where he was initially making money.”
The sources had added that the former minister, apart from being broke, was also afraid of getting the “Olisa Metuh treatment” meted out to him in his ongoing multi-billion naira corruption cases.
Metuh, a former National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, was convicted of money laundering by a Federal High Court in Abuja in February 2020.
Metuh and his company, Destra Investment Limited, had been prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for the N400 million he allegedly received from the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) in 2014.
However, the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, in December 2020, nullified the seven-year jail sentence given to the former PDP spokesperson, saying the Justice Okon Abang was biased in the handling of the cases.
Fani-Kayode was arraigned in 2016, alongside a former Minister of State for Finance, Nenadi Usman; Danjuma Yusuf, and a firm, Joint Trust Dimensions Ltd over N4.9bn alleged fraud.
The former minister, who was also the Director of Publicity for ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential campaign organisation for the 2015 election, was accused of conspiring with the others to, directly and indirectly, retain various sums which the EFCC claimed they ought to have reasonably known were proceeds of crime.
In one of the counts, the defendants were accused of conspiring among themselves to “indirectly retain the sum of N1,500, 000,000.00 which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: stealing.”
The four were also accused of indirectly retaining N300m, N400m and N800m, all proceeds of corruption, according to the EFCC.
Fani-Kayode was accused of directly using parts of the money at various times, including N250,650,000.00, which he allegedly used between March 20 and 25, 2015.
He was also accused of making a cash transaction of N24m with one Olubode Oke, said to still be at large, on February 12, 2015 “to Paste Poster Co of 125, Lewis Street, Lagos Island.”
The duo were said to have made the transaction without going through any financial institution, an act the EFCC claimed was contrary to sections 1(a) and 16(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012, and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.
Months later, the former minister was rearrested and solely arraigned on five counts bordering on money laundering to the tune of N26 million.
According to the EFCC, Fani-Kayode allegedly received the sum of N26 million from the office of the former National Security Adviser (ONSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.) in 2014.
Fani-Kayode was last year attracted public criticism for his verbal assault on Eyo Charles, a journalist with Daily Trust, for asking him the source of funding of his recent tours during a press conference in Calabar, Cross River State.
Apart from describing Charles as "stupid", the former minister used other derogatory words on the journalist, drawing criticisms from far and near.
The journalist had asked him if he was being bankrolled by any politician or political group – a question that attracted verbal assault from the ex-minister.
SaharaReporters had also exposed how his fourth marriage with Precious, his fourth wife, exploded over domestic violence that lasted for six years.