DID EFCC DROP CHARGES AGAINST MRS. DIEZANI?

VERDICT: False and Misleading 

CLIAM: On the 25th of November, CDD fact-checkers spotted a trending story on several online media platforms, including Pulse NG making reference to ThisDay Newspaper. The claim was also spotted on major social media platforms, including Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter that the Economic and Financial Crime Commissions (EFCC) had dropped all 14 count charges against the Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke. 

At the resumed hearing of the matter before Justice Muslim Hassan of a Federal High Court Lagos on November 5, 2019, the anti-graft agency, through its lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, dropped the corruption charges against most of the accused persons, including Diezani, through an amended four-count charge.

FACT: CDD fact checkers did a thorough background checks on the claim, CDD first acknowledged that the former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke was facing a 14-count charge of financial crimes. However, when the matter came up on November 5, 2019, before Justice Muslim Hassan of a Federal High Court Lagos, the EFCC, represented by its lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, announced an amendment of four-count charge against Mrs. Diezani. This is prosecutorial decision by the anti-corruption agency to split the initial 14-count charges to enable separate arraignment of the defendants accused alongside Mrs Diezani.

In a press statement released by the EFCC on the 27th of November 2019 and signed by Mr. Tony Orilade Tony, its Spokesperson, the only new development on the case is a decision to separately arraign the defendants, including Mrs. Diezani. This is an aftermath of several adjournments that prevented the arraignment of the defendant over a year, following the listing of the case. According to the EFCC the decision is to speed up the prosecution of the accused. The charges were first filed on November 28, 2018. And on 4th December 2018, an Abuja Court issued a warrant of arrest, tasking the country’s anti-corruption and security agencies to detain Alison-Madueke within 72 hours. She currently lives in the United Kingdom. 

CONCLUSION: The claim that the EFCC had dropped all charges against Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke is False and therefore misleading. The corruption charges against Mrs. Diezani is proceeding, following amendments to the charge.