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EFCC removes Diezani Madueke And Kola Aluko from money laundering trial

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has 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 of 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 said to be 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.

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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 N400billion.

Alison-Madueke, whom the prosecution stated was at large, was not listed as an accused person in the charges, but her name was mentioned in one of the counts as having perpetrated the alleged fraud alongside Omokore and the other listed co-accused persons.

But with the insistence of the court on Monday, the lead prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), removed the former minister’s name and that of a businessman, Kolawole Aluko, from the count.

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