Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has withdrawn allegations of money laundering levelled against Dauda Lawal, former Executive Director, First Bank.
Lawal was accused of helping Diezani Allison Madueke, former Minister of Petroleum resources launder $153m, which was used to influence 2015 general elections
First Bank ED was charged to court for handling $25m of $153m since December 2018.
Rotimi Oyedepo, EFCC internal legal prosecutor who was in charge of the case got suspended after Acting Chairman of the Commisson, Ibrahim Magu was arrested and probed by a presidential panel over alleged mismanagement of recovered assets at the request of Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.
U.U Buhari replaced Oyedepo as EFCC prosecutor following his suspension.
Appearing in court on Wednesday with three witnesses, Buhari requested for a withdrawal of the allegations levelled against Lawal Dauda.
Noting that EFCC was making moves to arrest Diezani and other major suspects, Buhari informed Justice Hassan the anti-graft agency needed to withdraw the charges against Dauda in order to conduct further investigation.
P.I.N Ikwueto (SAN), Dauda Lawal’s legal counsel who expressed gladness at the new development, urged the court to “discharge and acquit” the defendant of all four counts.
Justice Hassan who expressed anger and disappointment at EFCC for wasting the time of the court, acquitted First Bank ED of all charges.
He said, “This case suffered several adjournments at the instance of the prosecution….
“I am satisfied that the appropriate order to make is an acquittal. The defendant is hereby discharged and acquitted on the said amended charge.”