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Updated: Court Acquits Omokore of $1.6 Billion Fraud



The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has discharged and acquitted Jide Omokore, chairman of Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited of fraud.

The court, however, convicted Mr Omokore’s co-accused, Victor Briggs and Abiye Membere, for receiving car gifts, an offence contrary to section 98 of the Criminal Code Act.

Delivering judgement on the alleged $1.6 billion fraud charge levelled against the defendant, the trial judge, Nnamdi Dimgba, held that the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt against Mr Omokore.

The judge held that the prosecution failed to establish the offence of obtaining by false pretence, conspiracy, fraud and conversion levelled against Mr Omokore.

He subsequently discharged and acquitted him.

The judge, however, found Messrs Briggs and Membere guilty of official corruption under section 98 of the Criminal Code Act and convicted them of the same.

The judge said Messrs Briggs and Membere collected car gifts which they admitted to in their extrajudicial statements.

Justice Dimgba said that being public officials, he was satisfied that the manner in which they received the car gifts was unethical.

He ordered that the convicts be remanded in EFCC custody pending their sentencing on Wednesday.

The offence of public corruption under section 98 of the Criminal Code Act attracts a seven-year jail term.

The defendants were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a 15-count charge on July 4, 2016.

They were alleged to have fraudulently diverted about $1.6 billion alleged to be part of the proceeds of sales of petroleum products belonging to the federal government.


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