$1.6bn fraud: EFCC re-arraigns Diezani’s ally, Omokore, others

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday re-arraigned an ally of a former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, Jide Omokore, and others on nine counts of criminal diversion of about $1.6bn alleged to be part of proceeds of the  sales of petroleum products belonging to the Federal Government.

Omokore was re-arraigned before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba alongside Victor Briggs, Abiye Membere, and David Mbanefo.

Two of Omokore’s companies, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Limited, were also part of the accused persons.

Part of the offences were said to be contrary to section 1 (1) (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act.

The accused persons were earlier arraigned on July 4, 2016 before Justice Binta Nyako.

The case had to start afresh following its transfer to Justice Dimgba.

All the accused persons pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them again on Monday.

All the accused persons pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them again on Monday.

After the arraignment on Monday,  the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs  (SAN), urged the court to allow the defendants to enjoy the bail earlier granted them by Justice Binta Nyako.

He also urged the court to fix a date for the commencement of trial.

The defence team did not oppose Jacobs’ applications.

Justice Dimgba agreed and fixed December 8, 2016 for trial.

For more, read here

TNV’s Take:

Can the government try to make sure that cases like these are handled speedily? If these men are innocent, then this constitutes a waste of their time. If anti corruption is the government’s main drive and till date there haven’t been any convictions, it can be safe to say that we are still being led by a clueless government.

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