The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Thursday dropped criminal charges it leveled against a former Minister of Works, Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Hassan Lawal, and nine others before the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The accused persons were slammed with a 44 count amended charge bordering on conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, conversion and fraud to the tune of N75.7 billion.
Lawal and his co-accused (Dr. Adeogba Godwin Ademola, Digital Toll Company Limited; Swede Control Interlink Limited; Proman Vital Ventures Limited; Nairda Limited; Siraj Nigeria Limited and Wise Health Services Limited), however, pleaded not guilty to the amended charge.
At the resumed hearing yesterday, prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Wahab Shittu, said he was instructed to discontinue further prosecution of the accused persons, who have being on trial since 2011.
In his ruling on the matter, the trial judge, Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed, granted the application to strike out the case.
While discharging the 10 accused persons, the court however, declined making an order for their acquittal.
The court held that, “where a person has not been arraigned, court cannot make order of acquittal”.