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No Peace For The Wicked! EFCC Denies Dropping Corruption Charges Against Diezani, Ex-bank Chief, Others

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No Peace For The Wicked! EFCC Denies Dropping Corruption Charges Against Diezani, Ex-bank Chief, Others

No Peace For The Wicked! EFCC Denies Dropping Corruption Charges Against Diezani, Ex-bank Chief, Others
November 27
16:47 2019

It is the lack of integrity that drives a man to adulterate ethics with gluttony and ill will. Ultimately, such sly character corrupts his soul with lust for gold and substitutes intelligence with error and false luster. But when push comes to shove, and the fruits of his iniquity are ripe for harvest, he starts to run from pillar to post in frantic quest for a reprieve he would never get.

The anti-graft agency, EFCC, has denied dropping money laundering charges against a former petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, and her co-accused.

The EFCC in 2018 filed the charges against Mrs Alison-Madueke and others, including Dauda Lawal, a former executive director of First Bank.

They were accused of laundering about $153 million public funds in the build up to the 2015 presidential election.

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.

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.

“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 StanleyLawson 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,” Mr Uwujaren said.

Read the full EFCC statement below.

EFCC Has Not Dropped Charges Against Diezani, Others

The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has been drawn to reports currently circulating in the social media, purporting that the Commission had dropped the criminal charge against a former minister of petroleum resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke and other persons indicted for money laundering.

The Commission enjoins members of the public to disregard the report which is 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 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  StanleyLawson 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 pertains 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.

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