The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court will on Tuesday deliver judgement in the trial of Jide Omokore, an ally of former Petroleum Minister Diezani Allison-Madueke.
Mr Omokere, alongside Victor Briggs, Abiye Membere, and David Mbanefo, were arraigned on a nine-count criminal charge bordering on diverting about $1.6 billion alleged to be part of proceeds for the sale of illegal petroleum products.
Mr Omokere and his co-defendants were initially arraigned on July 4, 2016, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
They were re-arraigned on November 21, 2016, before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, along with two of Mr Omokore’s companies, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Ltd and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Ltd.
During the trial, a prosecution witness, Olutaye Ayeni, the chief executive officer of Skymit Motors, told the court that he sold cars worth $8 million to Mr Omokore, who bought them for friends and associates.
“We sold to the defendant Mercedes Benz S550 at the cost of N26 million in the name of Mbanefo David/Chief Omokore and another Mercedes M350 at the cost of N23 million in the name of Nneka Bricks.”
Mr Omokore is being prosecuted alongside Mr Briggs, former managing director, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) and Abiye Membere, former group executive director, exploration and production of NNPC.
Also standing trial with Mr Omokore is David Mbanefo, former manager, planning and commercial of NNPC, on a nine-count amended charge of criminal diversion of about $1.6 billion alleged to be proceeds of petroleum products belonging to the federal government.
Other defendants in the suit are two corporate entities, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Limited, owned by Mr Omokore.