Justice Valentine Ashi of a Federal Capital Territory, FCT High Court, Apo, on December 3, 2018 granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, leave to arraign Diezani Alison-Madueke, a former Minister of Petroleum and Jide Omokore, a former Chairman, Atlantic Energy Drilling Company, for offences bordering on conspiracy and illegal act of accepting and giving gratifications.

They are alleged to have accepted and given gifts in properties located at Penthouse 22, Block B, Admiralty Estate, Ikoyi, and Penthouse 21, Building 5, Block C, Banana Island, Lagos. They are to be arraigned on February 25, 2019 on a five-count charge for the offences, which are contrary to Sections 26(1) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

The Commission however filed application for warrant of arrest, condition precedent for Deziani’s extradition protocol to bring her back home to face trail. A motion exparte would be filed tomorrow, 4th December, 2018 deposing to the facts given on Diezani by the Commission.

Omokore is currently facing a nine-count amended charge of criminal diversion of funds to the tune of $1.6 billion alleged to be proceeds of petroleum products belonging to the Federal Government. He is standing trial along with Victor Briggs, former Managing Director, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Limited; Abiye Membere, former Group Executive Director, Exploration and Production, NNPC, and David Mbanefo, Manager, Planning and Commercial, NNPC.

Prosecuting counsel, Faruk Abdullahi, told the court today that Diezani, who is currently in the United Kingdom, jetted out of the country while investigations into the alleged fraudulent acts were ongoing.

“An invitation was sent to her by the EFCC in the course of investigations, but she refused to honour the invitation, but all processes are set in place to ensure that she comes back to face trial,” he said.

Omokore was also not in court because Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court where he is being prosecuted for offences of money laundering approved his application seeking medical attention.

The EFCC had recently expressed its resolve to ensure that Diezani was brought back to Nigeria to answer for various fraud allegations that have been linked to her in the course of investigations.

Tony Orilade

Ag. Head, Media & Publicity

3rd December, 2018