The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has reportedly dropped all the 14 count charges against Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, who has been in the United Kingdom facing corruption investigations since 2015 when she left office as minister.
According to Daily Trust, the EFCC also withdrew its 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).
In 2015, the EFCC had in the 14-count charges accused Diezani, the bank executives and the NNPC officials of conspiring to conceal $153 million in Fidelity bank which they ought to have known were proceed of corruption punishable under the Money Laundering Act.
Daily Trust reports that the EFCC discovered that the $153 million was deposited, to allegedly fund the presidential second term campaign of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Diezani has been in the United Kingdom facing a series of corruption investigations since 2015 when she left office as minister.
From then till date, the EFCC has obtained court rulings that have ordered the forfeiture of properties and funds linked to the former minister.
KanyiDaily had reported that Mrs. Diezani forfeited her $40-Million worth of jewellery and iPhone to the Federal Government.
During the hearing of the matter before Justice Muslim Hassan of a Federal High Court Lagos on November 5, 2019, the EFCC through its lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo dropped the corruption charges against most of the accused persons, including Diezani, through an amended four-count charge.
The amended charges which border on money laundering, now only seeks to prosecute a former Executive Director of First Bank Plc, alongside Diezani and Ben, who served as Group Executive Director of finance at the NNPC.
Madueke and Ben Otti have both reportedly been at large since the beginning of the matter which was first filed in Court on November 28, 2018.
Similarly, Nnamdi, Stanley, and Lanre, all did not make any appearance in court and have not been arraigned.
In what appeared like a twist at the resumed hearing of the matter on 5th November 2019 almost one year after the charges were filed, a source close to Dauda Lawal, who noted that the former Executive Director First Bank did not fail to appear in court in all adjourned dates of the matter were shocked that all other accused persons have been exonerated.