The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in a statement on its Twitter page @officialEFCC on Wednesday has denied rumors claiming it had dropped all criminal charges against the former minister of petroleum Diezani Alison-Madueke and others accused to have been involved in money laundering
The anti-graft agency denied the rumor which is wide spread over the media that it had dropped the charges against the ex-minister and the others, it also begs the members of the public to disregard the report, saying it was false and misleading.
“At no time did the commission withdraw the charge, which is still before Justice Muslim Hassan of the Federal High Court, Lagos.
“The only development was that the commission took a prosecutorial decision to split initial 14-count charge to enable separate the arraignment of 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 Lanre Adesanya was sick, 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.
“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).
“And the ingredients of the offence stated therein only pertain to Lawal’s involvement in the alleged crime, which is the receipt of $25million from the $153million 2015 Peoples Democratic Party presidential election slush fund.
“The non-inclusion of other defendants in the original charge in the amended four-count charge does not mean that have been exonerated by the commission of any criminal allegation,” The EFCC explaines