The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Jide Omokore, a former ally of ex-petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, and five others over an alleged crude oil fraud worth $1.6 billion.
The elephant not in the room: Diezani’s name was mentioned several times in the suit before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court in Abuja. However, the former minister, who is currently in the United Kingdom, is not charged as one of the six defendants in the case.
So last month, she filed a fundamental human rights motion before the court, arguing that her constitutional right to fair hearing is being infringed because huge allegations have been made against her, yet she is not one of the defendants and so does not have the opportunity to defend herself.
Today, Justice Dimgba agreed with her motion in his ruling on the matter. He thereafter struck out Count 8 of the nine-count charge against the defendants which mentioned Diezani.
The six defendants in the case: Jide Omokore; his two companies, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Limited; 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.