The Abuja division of the Federal High Court Wednesday struck out a charge indicting former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke to the illegal diversion of about $1.6billion.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba struck out the charge on the fact that though the former Minister’s name was mentioned in the charge, she was however not listed as one of the defendants.
Per Second News in an exclusive report Monday revealed that Diezani last month filed a fundamental human rights motion requesting Justice Nnamdi Dimgba to include her as a co-defendant in the $1.6bn 9 count charge of fraud and criminal diversion preferred against Jide Omokore, Victor Briggs, Abiye Membere, David Mbanefo,Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Limited.
In the charge N0 FHC/ABJ/CR/121/2016, cited by Per Second News, the former minister said that she has been copiously mentioned and accused within the charge sheets and in the media of conspiring with Omokore and his co-defendants but was never included by EFCC’s prosecutor as a co-defendant in the suit.
The court, by its ruling on Wednesday, reduced charges against them to eight-counts, having expunged the aspect that accused Diezani of aiding the defendants to divert funds, contrary to section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act.
” If she is said to have conspired, she must be given a right to defend herself, the former minister’s attorney said.
The case was adjourned till October 5 for continuation of trial of the other defendants.