Refrain from Branding People as Corrupt, Omokore’s Lawyer Warns Osinbajo

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Obinna Chima
The lawyers to Mr. Jide Omokore and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited, RA Lawal-Rabana & Co, have advised Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to exercise restraint in branding people as corrupt without a judicial pronouncement to that effect.

The firm stated that its attention was drawn to a statement from the office of the Vice President captioned “Grand Corruption in Jonathan Era: Osinbajo Releases Details,” in which he had listed Omokore, alongside with Kola Aluko and Diezani Alison- Maduekwe as having stolen $3 billion from Nigerian Natonal Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in a so-called NNPC Strategic Alliance Contract.

 However, the firm in a statement explained that as counsel involved in representing Omokore in court, “Jide Omokore has not in concert with anybody stolen $3 billion as contained in the statement.”

It argued that the relationship between Omokore’s company – Atlantic Energy with NNPC/NPDC is well documented as a commercial transaction of which there has been part performance, stating that there was nothing illegal or fraudulent about the transaction.

Furthermore, it pointed out that the matter was already before the court of law in a criminal proceeding yet to be concluded and there is no pronouncement of guilt or corruption against our client.

“The rule of law requires that a man is presumed innocent until adjudged guilty through a fair judicial process. Therefore, in this case, we wonder where the emphatic conclusion from the office of the vice President came from.

“In the best tradition of the bar, when a matter is subjudice, as senior counsel, I will not delve into the merit or otherwise of the ongoing trial except to say and caution against prejudicing the public and the entire judicial process.

“In conclusion, having regard to the facts and circumstances of this particular case, we believe that the office of the vice president has been misinformed,” the statement concluded.