ABUJA/Nigeria: The former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke has been cleared of fraud charges by the Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday. The Justice of the Federal high Court, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba struck out the charge involving the former minister in the trial of her associate-Jide Omokore.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had earlier brought a nine-count charge of fraud to the tune of $1.6 billion against Omokore and Alison-Madueke was named in the eighth count of the fraud charges, but the judge struck out the charge after hearing an application filed by the former minister that she was named in the case without fair hearing. She claimed that the EFCC did not give her an opportunity to defend herself.
Omokore is facing trial alongside Victor Briggs, former Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), some former NNPC directors and the companies linked to him. Alison-Madueke has been named in series of fraud cases in Nigeria such as the Malabu Oil case which is before a Federal High Court and a Multi-million dollar fraud case involving her associate, Kola Aluko in the United States.