Diezani EFCC can't prove ex-minister, Jide Omokore stole $10bn - Ex-NBA Secretary

The lawyer said that the EFCC only uses the media to destroy the image of Nigerians, without proper trial in a competent court of justice.

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A former General Secretary of the Nigeria Bar Association, Rabana Lawal (SAN) has reportedly faulted the allegation of the Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) that it traced the sum of $10 billion to the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, and others.

According to Post Nigeria, Lawal disclosed this in an exclusive interview with Thisday.

Lawal, who is the counsel to Jide Omokore, Diezani's alleged associate, noted that the allegation that his client stole money is unfounded, saying the EFCC only uses the media to destroy the image of Nigerians, without proper trial in a competent court of justice.

‎He said “My assessment so far is that there is too much sensationalism on the part of the EFCC.

‎"There is too much prosecution of people on the pages of newspapers.

"The EFCC doesn’t seem to observe the basic tenets of what the rule of law is all about.

"The rule of law is that if you arraign a man in court, allow the court to make its findings, conclusion and pass judgment.

"The EFCC from the utterances and the statements they dish out to the public, are always conclusive.

"They will tell you we have investigated A, and we have arrested B, creating the impression that the man is already guilty.

“Therefore biasing the minds of the Nigerian public against some of these people whom, at the end of the day, may not have committed the heinous crimes or allegations leveled against them."

The lawyer further stated that anti-corruption fight cannot be achieved through newspapers sensational stories, but through facts and by following the due processes of the law.

Speaking on the alleged $10 billion, allegedly linked to Diezani and her associates in the United States, Lawal wondered how that huge sums of money could have been taken out of Nigeria's treasuty.

"Well, ordinarily I would not have joined issues with the EFCC," he said.

"Whatever they alleged; it is for them to prove. But the linking of my client, who is Jide Omokore, is what will propel me to respond and react.

"Firstly, the general impression created every time, all day, is that Jide Omokore is Diezani’s Associate, but he’s not.

“Jide Omokore is a businessman that has his own companies, bided for jobs, entered into contracts with NDPC and NNPC, to provide some services under the strategic alliance agreement, and which has being on-going and that has nothing to do with his relationship with Diezani.

“It is an agreement between institutions and the company.

“So, my advice is that the EFCC should talk less and do more of investigations, and when they collate their facts, it is sent to the court.

“Once the matter is in court, then the principle of sub judice should apply.”

ALSO READ: EFCC to trace, seize Alison-Madueke’s US properties

Omokore, the Chairman of Atlantic Energy, and five others had been arraigned by the EFCC on a nine-count charge bothering on money laundering.