Tuesday, 13 June 2017

$1.6bn fraud: Omokore gets another sick leave

$1.6bn fraud: Omokore gets another sick leave

Olajide Omokore

The Chairman of the Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited, Olajide Omokore, was on Tuesday granted permission by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to travel out of the country.

Monday’s permission was the second time Justice Dimgba will grant the defendant leave to travel outside the country as he was earlier in April, 2017 granted permission to travel abroad for medical treatment.

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Omokore is standing trial alongside Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited, Atlantic Energy Drilling Company Limited, Victor Briggs, Abiyemembere and David Mbanefo, on a nine-count amended charge of criminal diversion of about $1.6 billion alleged to be proceeds of sale of petroleum products belonging to the federal government.

When the matter came up yesterday, the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) informed the court of the new application by the defendant seeking permission to travel abroad for treatment, an application he said he will not object to but, that it must be undertaken within the court’s long vacation due for July 10, 2017 to September 10, 2017.

Justice Dimgba in a short ruling granted the permission on the ground that Omokore must sign an undertaking to embark on the trip between July 11, 2017 and September 10, 2017.

The prosecution also informed the court of another application filled by the 5th defendant (Abiyemembere) challenging the jurisdiction of the court, because the prosecution filed additional proof of evidence, which would allow the prosecution call more evidence.

Jacobs however prayed the court for an adjournment to enable him file his written address in opposition to the application.

The 5th defendant said, with a new proof of evidence being filed before the court, there was a need for the defendant to approach the court for interpretation, as the prosecution has to proof the need for the additional proof of evidence.

Justice Dimgba adjourned hearing on the application challenging jurisdiction to June 22, 2017 and July 5, 2017 for ruling and possible continuation of trial.

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