Court discharges Shasore as EFCC withdraws money laundering charges

Ex-Lagos attorney general Olasupo Shasore

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has withdrawn the money laundering charges preferred against former attorney-general of Lagos Olasupo Shasore (SAN) following a directive by the attorney-general of the federation (AGF) and minister of justice, Lateef Fagbemi.

Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court in Abuja discharged the defendant after being informed by the prosecutor Bala Sanga that Fagbemi directed the EFCC to withdraw the charge.

Shasore was attorney-general of Lagos and commissioner for justice during the Babatunde Fashola era.

“Upon being shown a letter from the AGF dated 23rd of November and the application by the prosecution counsel that the matter be withdrawn, the charge is hereby withdrawn and the defendant discharged,” the judge said.

Shasore was standing trial in Abuja and Lagos State on alleged money laundering offences. On November 4, 2022, he was arraigned on a 14-count money laundering charge before Justice Ekwo of Abuja court.

In the charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/386/22 filed on August 17, 2022, Middlesex Investments Ltd and Shasore were first and second defendants respectively.

Shasore was alleged to be a director and a signatory to the company’s Guaranty Trust Bank account number 0005659394.

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The former commissioner, however, pleaded not guilty to the offences alleged to have been committed along with the company and was granted bail in terms of the administrative bail earlier granted him by the EFCC.

On October 20, 2022, Shasore was arraigned before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of an Ikeja Special Offences Court on a two-count charge bordering on alleged money laundering.

Hours later, he was arraigned before Justice Mojisola Dada of a Federal High Court in Lagos on a four-count charge of alleged money laundering.

On October 23, a Business and Property Court in London presided over by Justice Robin Knowles of the Commercial Courts of England and Wales quashed the $11 billion awarded against Nigeria in a case filed by P&ID.

Judge Knowles held that the award was obtained by fraud and that what happened in the case was contrary to public policy.

The court also declared that it did not find any merit in the charges of bribery levelled against Shasore, who represented Nigeria in the arbitration.