Government & Politics

EFCC Removes Diezani From Money Laundering Trial

Nigeria's Minister of Petroleum Diezani Allison-Madueke speaks at a media briefing on a new gas price regime in the capital of Abuja May 27, 2010.Nigeria's state power company will pay energy companies, such as Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil more for their gas to encourage investment and boost supply capacity, the oil minister said on Thursday.REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde (NIGERIA - Tags: POLITICS ENERGY)

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday applied to remove Diezani Alison-Madueke, former petroleum minister, from a money-laundering trial.

Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), counsel to the EFCC, the prosecution, made the application on behalf of the anti-graft agency before Binta Nyako, justice of the federal high court, Abuja.

At the arraignment Jide Omokore, an associate of Diezani and chairman Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited and other accused persons — counsel to the defendants had argued that their clients would not take their plea when the prosecution had not shown any evidence of proof of service on Madueke and one Kolawole Akane, who were both at large.

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The counsel added that the former minister and Akane were charged together with Omokore, but the prosecution had failed to put them on the defence list.

Ruling on the submission, Nyako, the judge before whom the accused persons were arraigned, held that the charge brought before the court was not ripe for plea.

Following her ruling, the EFCC counsel 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 for alleged money laundering to the tune of N400m.

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