Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke said on Tuesday that the trial of fuel subsidy suspects is being conducted in batches and that people are arraigned after completion of due diligence investigation.
Confirming that the trial of suspects has neither been suspended nor stalled, the minister said: “We are trying oil marketers suspected to be involved in fuel subsidy importation fraud in batches. Each time we have concluded investigation on any batch, we arraign them in court.
“So, the fact is that more suspects will face trial soon after diligent investigation has been done by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). We do not want to take suspects to court for the sake of it.
“Before we arraign any suspect in court, we will ensure there is water-tight evidence to make their prosecution easier.
“The trial of oil marketers is neither suspended nor stopped at all. This government is committed to its anti-corruption agenda and it has demonstrated it with many cases in court.
The EFCC also said in a statement Tuesday denied that trial of suspects has been suspended or stalled.
In the satement, Mr Wilson Uwujiaren, EFCC’s head of media and publicity, said: “The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission, EFCC has been drawn to a report… which suggests that the Commission has, following political pressure, suspended further arraignment of oil marketing companies and their directors suspected to have been involved in the fuel subsidy scam.
“The Commission views the suggestion as a distasteful misrepresentation of the reality on ground.
“The true position is that there is no untoward pressure on the EFCC to charge or suspend the charging of any suspect to court.
“Secondly, the fact that the Commission has not taken any accused person to court in the past few days is simply because the courts have all gone on break and EFCC can only take matters before open courts.
“It must be restated however, that, before the first batch of suspects were charged two weeks ago, the Commission had announced that the arraignment of suspects involved in the subsidy fraud shall be at intervals. ” That format was chosen given the number of organisations and individuals involved in the on-going investigation.
“After the first batch of suspects (20 in all) was arraigned, the courts went on recess.
“When they resume, the Commission would certainly continue with the prosecution of the first batch and arraignment of the next set of oil subsidy scam suspects”.