A Federal High Court, in Abuja, has discharged and acquitted Jide Omokore, Chairman of Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited, of fraud allegations.
Omokore was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a 15-count charge.
He was alleged to have fraudulently diverted $1.6 billion, alleged to be part of proceeds of sales of petroleum products belonging to the Federal Government.
Omokore is the first defendant in the matter while Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited are the second and third defendants.
Delivering judgment in the suit yesterday, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, held that the EFCC failed to prove its case against the first to third defendants.
On the first three counts, the anti-graft commission had alleged that the first three defendants made false representations in other to get into an agreement to carry out a project for Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC and the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC.
However, the judge held that the EFCC failed to prove that the three defendants falsely represented themselves as possessing the required technical and financial competence to carry out the project.
On financial capacity, the judge held that the EFCC ought to have shown that the three defendants had bad creditworthiness as opposed to making a conclusion from their account balance.
The judge also agreed with the testimony given by the first prosecution witness, Andrew Yakubu, former group managing director of the NNPC.
Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of Vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.