Diezanigate: EFCC arrests Omokore, Yakubu, NNPC ex-GMD •To be arraigned July 4

THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested Jide Omokore, chairman of Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited and Andrew Yakubu, former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The anti-graft agency disclosed this in a statement, on Monday, adding that the duo would be arraigned before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja, on Monday, July 4.

According to the EFCC, they are to be arraigned on four counts of money laundering.

Other defendants to the charge are Victor Briggs, Abiye Memnere, David Mbanefo, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Limited.

The arraignment of Omokore, an associate of former Petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke; Yakubu and two others was stalled on Monday, as the suspects were not present in court.

Prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, said because all the suspects were not in court, the prosecution would not want to arraign them in piece meal, adding that “the accused persons are scattered across the country and we are trying to avoid a situation where the accused persons will be arraigned separately.

“What we are trying to do now is to gather all the accused persons together and I believe we should be able to arraign them on July 4.”

Nigerian Tribune could not get the detail of the charge because the prosecution said he was going to amend them, however, Omokore would be arraigned alongside Yakubu, a former NNPC helmsman.

Atlantic Energy Limited was one of the companies that allegedly received multi-billion dollar worth of public assets without due process during the Dr Goodluck Jonathan-led administration in 2011.

The company was awarded controlling stakes in two lucrative oil blocks – OML 30 and 34 – for over $50 million each.

The deal, which was signed by the immediate past minister of petroleum, Alison-Madueke, gave Atlantic Energy Limited a control of  55 per cent stake in the oil block.

Shell, which owned the remaining 45 per cent stake, fetched $1.3 billion for a single field, after an open and competitive bidding process.

The company was also accused of lifting crude oil, but only remitted a fraction of its worth to the government.

SPOG, another of Omokore’s companies, is also being investigated for an alleged N400 million petrol import fraud.

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