The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has denied dropping charges of money laundering against former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
In a statement released by its Spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, the EFCC clarified that the charges were only separated to enable other defendants who are present in the country to take their plea since Diezani has not been attending court dates since the case was filed in 2018.
“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 statement read.
According to the anti-graft agency, “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.”
Uwujaren urged members of the public to disregard the report, adding that the case is still before Justice Muslim Hassan of the Federal High Court, Lagos.
The EFCC in 2018 filed the charges against 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.