The Federal High Court in Abuja has adjourned the trial of Jide Omokore, the embattled chairman of Atlantic Energy Brass Development and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept to October 5.
Mr. Omokore is standing trial alongside three former officials of the Nigerian oil industry for alleged $1.6 billion fraud.
They are Victor Briggs, a former Managing Director of the National Petroleum Development Company; Abiye Membere, a former Group Executive Director, Exploration and Production at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation; and David Mbanefo, a former Manager, Planning and Commercial at NNPC.
At the resumed sitting on Monday, counsel to Mr. Mbanefo, Afan Osigwe, through a prosecution witness, Mohammed Abiri, a former accountant with National Petroleum Investment Management Services, sought to tender in evidence a copy of a speech by Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.
In the document, Mr. Kachickwu had announced the decision of the Federal Government to exit the joint ventures cash call arrangement with international oil companies.
But prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, a senior advocate of Nigeria, objected to the admissibility of the document.
He argued that “the document which was tendered from the NNPC website has not been certified and falls short of requirement of Section 102 and 104 of the Evidence Act.”
The presiding judge, Nnamdi Dimgba, upheld the objection and adjourned the case to October 5.