Lawyers react to allegation of $3bn fraud against Jide Omokore, insist their client did not steal

Lawyers react to allegation of $3bn fraud against Jide Omokore, insist their client did not steal

- Jide Omokore, one of the persons accused by the presidency of looting $3billion from NNPC has denied the allegation

- Presidency had on May 7, accused Diezani Allison-Madueke; Jide Omokore and Kola Aluko of looting the whopping money

- Omokore's lawyer, Lawal-Rabana, said that proceeding was yet to be concluded and that no pronouncement of guilt was made against his client

One of the persons accused by the presidency of looting $3billion from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Jide Omokore, has denied the accusation, saying the matter is already before the court.

Vanguard reports that Omokore, through his counsel, Lawal-Rabana, said that proceeding was yet to be concluded and that no pronouncement of guilt was made against his client.

NAIJ.com gathered that the the presidency on Monday, May 7, accused the trio of former minister of petroleum resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke; Jide Omokore and Kola Aluko of looting $3billion from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

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The presidency in a statement by the spokesman to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Laolu Akande in Abuja, accused the former petroleum minister and the two others of making away with the funds through a fraudulent oil deal and failure to pay royalties and taxes.

But Omokore in a statement by his counsel said: “We act as solicitors to Jide Omokore and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited. Our attention has been drawn to a release from the office of the Vice President captioned ‘Grand Corruption in Jonathan era: Osinbajo releases details,’ in which he listed Mr Jide Omokore, alongside with Kola Aluko and Diezani Alison- Maduekwe as having stolen $3b from NNPC on a so called NNPC Strategic Alliance Contract. “As counsel that is involved in representing Jide Omokore in court, we wish to state as follows: That Jide Omokore has not in concert with anybody stolen $3bn as contained in the statement.

“The relationship between Jide Omokore’s company, Atlantic Energy with NNPC/NPDC is well documented as a commercial transaction of which there has been part performance. There is nothing illegal or fraudulent about the transaction.

“The matter is already before the court of law in a criminal proceeding yet to be concluded and there is no pronouncement of guilt or corruption against our client.

“The rule of law requires that a man is presumed innocent until adjudged guilty through a fair judicial process. Therefore, in this case, we wonder where the emphatic conclusion from the office of the vice President came from.

“In the best tradition of the bar, when a matter is subjudice, as senior counsel, I will not delve into the merit or otherwise of the ongoing trial except to say and caution against prejudicing the public and the entire judicial process.

“We therefore, urge the office of the vice president to exercise restraint in branding people as corrupt without a judicial pronouncement to that effect.

“In conclusion, having regard to the facts and circumstances of this particular case, we believe that the office of the vice president has been misinformed.”

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Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had previously reported that Osinbajo's aide, Laolu Akande, on Sunday, May 7, named those whom he alleged stole $3 billion from oil lifted in a strategic alliance contract by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) during the administration of former president Goodluck Jonathan.

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Source: Naija.ng

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