The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has denies Dropping all 14 count charges against Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The commission also said to have denied dropping the charges against Ben Otti, Nnamdi Okonkwo, Stanley Lawson, Lanre Adesanya, and Dauda Lawal, all of whom are former officials of commercial banks and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) of conspiring to conceal $153 million in Fidelity bank
The former minister was indicted in a multi-million dollar fraud but the commission had been unable to bring her before any court.
In a statement by its spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, the EFCC said it decided to split the money laundering charges and arraign the suspects separately in order to end the delay the trial has suffered.
The commission filed multiple charges against the former minister and some others in 2018.
He said, “The only development was that the commission took a prosecutorial decision.
“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.
Apart from this trial, Mrs Alison-Madueke has also been indicted in several other corruption cases and has forfeited properties worth billions of naira to the Nigerian government.
She is, however, yet to formally face trial as she is believed to be in the UK where she is also being investigated for money laundering.
The four-count amended charge brought against Dauda Lawal, a former executive director of First Bank, did not include other defendants except the two at large (Diezani Alison-Madueke and Ben Otti).
“And the ingredients of the offence stated therein only pertains to Lawal’s involvement in the alleged crime, which is the receipt of $25m from the $153m 2015 Peoples Democratic Party presidential election slush fund.