The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has shed light on the dispute surrounding serious charges against former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, and five others.
Recently, reports had it that the EFCC dropped all 14 count charges against Diezani, 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).
However, in a new statement shared by EFCC to the press to explain the situation, their spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, stressed that it is not true and they have not withdrawn the charges that is still before Justice Muslim Hassan of the Federal High Court, Lagos.
His words, “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.
“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.”
“The non-inclusion of other defendants in the original charge in the amended four count charge does not mean that they have been exonerated by the Commission of any criminal allegation.”
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