The Economic and financial crimes commission (EFCC) on Wednesday 27th November 2019 issued a disclaimer about false reports hovering around the internet.
In the past few days, information has it that the EFCC has dropped charges placed on certain persons that have been charged with money laundering over the past years.
Such as the former minister of Petroleum resources Diezani Alison-Madueke, Lanre Adesanya, Nnamdi Okonkwo, Ben Otti, Stanley Lawson & Dauda Lawal.
Although the commission agreed that it decided to place separate charges from the 14- count charge placed on the defendants to enable them to get different days of arraignment at the court, but over the years this hasn’t come to fruition.
The EFCC said it has filed these charges since on the 28th of November 2018 but whenever there was an invitation for any of the defendant to come to court there was always a made-up story for not appearing.
The commission also attested that this same issue has been called for arraignment for more than four times within this time period but they get excuses such as Stanley Lawson had domestic accident, or Lanre Adesanya was ill, or currently at a hospital in London were he is bedridden or that Nnamdi Okonkwo is currently admitted in a hospital because he is suffering from hypertension.
Due to these continuous excuses that arise whenever there was a court hearing, that was why the Economic and financial crimes commission opted in an open court for each defendant to appear at separate courts.
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During the 2015 presidential election, Dauda Lawal one-time executive director of First Bank of Nigeria was alleged of involvement in a crime of having a receipt of $25million from the Peoples Democratic party slush fund of $153million.
A four-count amended charge was placed on Dauda Lawal which eventually does not pertain to other defendants aside Alison-Madueke and Ben Otti.
Since the other defendants weren’t included in the originally charged crime of the newly amended four-count charge, it does not point to the fact that they have been found acquitted.
The EFCC hereby advises the general public to ignore whatsoever report with respect to this matter stating that they are false and misleading.
The Charges against each defendant are still very much before the Federal High court in Lagos under Justice Muslim Hassan and at no time were they withdrawn.