The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has denied media reports currently circulating, purporting that the Commission had dropped the criminal charges against an Ex-Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke and other persons indicted for money laundering.
The anti-graft agency in a statement released on Wednesday 27th November 2019, called on the members of the public to disregard the report on Ex-Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke describing it as ‘false and misleading’, saying:
“At no time did the Commission withdraw the charges, which is still before Justice Muslim Hassan of the Federal High Court, Lagos”.
Stating further, and making a clarification on the issue, the commission said:
“The only development was that the Commission took a prosecutorial decision to split the initial 14-count charge to enable separate arraignment of the defendants following a spate of adjournments that prevented the arraignment of the defendants more than one year after the case was listed.
The charges were first filed on November 28, 2018. Since then, every attempt to arraign the defendants had been frustrated by one excuse or the other. In more than four times that the matter was called for arraignment, it was either that Lanre Adesanya was sick and bedridden in a London Hospital or Nnamdi Okonkwo was hypertensive and on admission in a hospital or Stanley Lawson had had a domestic accident and could not appear in court” the commission stated.
“It was clear that these recurring excuses were ploys to frustrate the arraignment. To get around this, the Commission took a deliberate decision, which was disclosed in open court, to separately prosecute the defendants in different courts. This explains why the four-count amended charge brought against Dauda Lawal, a former executive director of First Bank, did not include other defendants, except the two who are at large( #Diezani Alison-Madueke and Ben Otti)” the commission added.