Court Strikes out $1.6Billion fraud charge against Diezani’s ally

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The ongoing investigations and prosecutions involving allegations of fraud against former Petroleum minister, Diezani  Allison-Madueke have taken a new turn after an Abuja High court delivered a judgment in favour of one of her close ally; Jide Omokore.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the federal high court, Abuja, on Wednesday, struck out the charge against Jide Omokore, co-founder of South Atlantic Petroleum Ltd in a $1.5billion fraud case.

The judge struck out the eighth-count after hearing an application filed by Diezani, claiming that she was indicted in the particular count, but was not availed the opportunity to defend herself.

Accused in the case include, Omokore, his two companies, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Limited.

Other defendants are a former Managing Director of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, Victor Briggs; a former Group Executive Director, Exploration and Production of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Abiye Membere; and a former Manager, Planning and Commercial of the NNPC, David Mbanefo and the former Petroleum Minister, Alison-Madueke.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had instituted nine counts of criminal diversion of about $1.6bn alleged to be part of proceeds of sales of petroleum products belonging to the Federal Government, against Omokore and six others.

Omokore and another close ally of Diezani, Kola Aluko are alleged to have been in a fraudulent relationship with the ex-minister.  They have been accused of bribing her into getting juicy contracts on her order without being qualified.

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