The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday re-arraigned a close associate of a former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, Jide Omokore, and others on nine counts of criminal diversion of about $1.6bn alleged to be part of proceeds of the sales of petroleum products belonging to the Federal Government.
Omokore was re-arraigned before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba alongside Victor Briggs, Abiye Membere, and David Mbanefo.
Two of Omokore’s companies, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited
and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Limited, were also part of the
Part of the offences were said to be contrary to section 1 (1) (b) of
the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act and
punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act.
The accused persons were earlier arraigned in June, 2016 before Justice Binta Nyako.
The case had to start afresh following its transfer to Justice Dimgba.
All the accused persons pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them again on Monday.
After the arraignment on Monday, the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi
Jacobs (SAN), urged the court to allow the defendants to enjoy the bail
earlier granted them by Justice Binta Nyako.
He also urged the court to fix a date for the commencement of trial.
The defence team did not oppose Jacobs’ applications.
Justice Dimgba agreed and fixed December 8, 2016 for trial.
Part of the charges read, “That you Olajide Jones Omokore, Atlantic
Energy Brass Development Ltd., Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Ltd and
Kolawole Akanni Aluko (now at large) between May and October 2013 within
the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, by false pretence and with
intent to defraud, induced the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation
and the Federal Government of Nigeria to deliver to you 5,652,227
barrels of crude oil (Brass blend) amounting to $616,013,615.27 (Six
hundred and sixteen million, thirteen thousand, six hundred and fifteen
US dollars, twenty seven cents) through the medium of contract, which
delivery was induced by the false pretence to wit: that you had
technical competence, professional skills and funds (both local and
foreign) necessary to support the NPDC in petroleum operations for the
contract area and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1
(1) (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act
Cap. A6, 2010, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria and punishment under
section 1(3) of the same Act.”
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