The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has applied to withdraw Diezani Alison-Madueke, former Petroleum Minister, from a money laundering trial.
The application for removal was made by the prosecution, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), on behalf of the anti-graft agency, before Justice Binta Nyako, of the federal high court in Abuja on Monday, June 4, 2016.
TheCable gathered that during the arraignment of Jide Omokore – the chairman of Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited, associate of Diezani and other accused persons – the 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 wanted.
The defendant counsel also lamented that Diezani and Akane were charged together with Omokore, but the prosecution had failed to put them on the defence list.
After much deliberation, the judge held that the charge brought by the accused persons before the court was not ripe for plea.
Shortly after her ruling, the EFCC counsel made an oral application to remove the names of Madueke and Akane from the charge sheet.
The prosecution, thereafter, asked the court to allow the accused persons to take their plea, which they did.
Omokore, who is facing trial for alleged money laundering to the tune of N400billion, was arraigned on Monday before Justice Nyako of the federal high court in Abuja, alongside other accused persons.
The other defendants to the charge are Victor Briggs, Abiye Memnere, David Mbanefo, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Limited.