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EFCC removes Diezani from money laundering trial, but not because they think she’s innocent

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EFCC removes Diezani from money laundering trial, but not because they think she’s innocent

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday applied to remove Diezani Alison-Madueke, former petroleum minister, from a money laundering trial before Justice Binta Nyako of the federal high court in Abuja.

It was not because the commission suddenly thought she was innocent though.

Here’s what happened: The EFCC arraigned one of her associates, Jide Omokore who is the chairman of Atlantic Energy, as well as some other accused persons in court. But the counsels to Omokore and the others said their clients would not take their pleas. They argued that even though Diezani and one Kolawole Akane were charged with them, there is no evidence that a proof of service had been served on those two people and they were not even on the defence list.

As a result, the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), made an oral application to remove the names Madueke and Akane from the charge sheet.

He, thereafter, asked the court to allow the accused persons to take their plea, which they did.

Omokore is facing trial on four counts of money laundering to the tune of N400 billion. Other accused persons include Andrew Yakubu, a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC; Victor Briggs; Abiye Membere; David Mbanefo; Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Limited.

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