Alleged $1.6bn OMLS 60 Diversion: Prosecution Varies Evidence Against Omokore

A prosecuting witness in the ongoing trial of Jide Omokore and five others on alleged diversion of about $1.6bn said to be proceeds of petroleum products belonging to the Federal Government, Monday, varied an earlier statement that the cash call was not paid in arrears.
The third prosecution witness, Idris Agiri, had testified under cross examination by counsel to the first to third defendants, Adeniyi Adegbonmire, that cash call was always paid at when due.
He later admitted the cash call was not in arrears, that the parties, operators and non operators were always carried along in the oayment
However, under re-examination by the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, Agiri said what he meant was that until December 31, 2015, there was accumulated outstanding not paid but from 2016 till date every cash call has been paid.
“The arrears until December 31, 2015 had been agreed with the operators and non operators and negotiated to be paid in the next five years. But from 2016 what would have as outstanding has been paid.”
But when Adegbonmire wanted to cross examine the witness, saying the witness had raised a new issue, the trial Judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba overruled him, adding that there was no new issue.
An ally to the former Minister of Petroleum Resources,including Diezani Allison-Madueke, Omokore is being prosecuted alongside the former Managing Director of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, Victor Briggs, former Group Executive Director, Exploration and Production of the NNPC, Abiye Membere, former Manager, Planning and Commercial of the NNPC, David Mbanefo, on a nine-count amended charge of criminal diversion of about $1.6bn alleged to be proceeds of petroleum products belonging to the Federal Government.
Equally charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are two corporate entities, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Limited, allegedly owned by Omokore .
Agiri, who is an accountant with the National Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), under cross examination from counsel for the fourth defendant, John Aga, said he was in know of joint agreement, insisting that what is known as arrear in agreement is the one not paid when there is a grey area, the money is withheld until, the grey area is resolved.
He said it could not be call debt in the real sense of it
The court adjourned till October 5 for continuation of trial.
Some of the allegations including the defendants include: “That you, Olajide Jones Omokore, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Ltd, Atlantic Energy qqDrilling Concepts 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 Petroleum Development Company, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Federal Government of Nigeria to deliver to you 5, 652, 227 barrels of crude oil (Brass blend) valued at the sum of US $ 616, 013, 615.27, through the medium of contact (Strategic Alliance Agreement) which delivery was induced by false pretence to wit: the representation that you have technical competence, professional skills and funds (both local and foreign) necessary to support NPDC in petroleum operation for the OML 60, 62, 62 and 63 and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other fraud related offences Act CAP A6 2010 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.
“That you, Olajide Jones Omokore, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Ltd, Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Ltd and Kolawole Akanni Aluko (now at large) between May 2013 and March 2014, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court obtained by false pretence and with intent to defraud 7, 551, 867 barrels of crude oil (Brass blend) valued at the sum of US$ 823, 075, 189.95 from Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Federal Government of Nigeria on the false pretence that you had funds (both local and foreign) necessary to support the Nigerian Petroleum Company Ltd in Petroleum operation for the OML 60, 61, 62 and 63 and you thereby committed an offence, contrary to Section 1 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other fraud related offences Act CAP A6 2010 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.
“That you, Olajide Jones Omokore, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Ltd, Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Ltd and Kolawole Akanni Aluko (now at large) sometime in 2013 within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did conspire amongst yourselves to commit an offence to wit: laundering of proceeds of an unlawful act and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 18 (a) of the money laundering (prohibition) 2011 as amended in 2012 and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.
“That you Victor Biggs (while being the Managing Director of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), Abiye Membere (while being the Group Executive Director, Exploration and Production of the NNPC, David Mbanefo, while being manager, Planning and Commercial of the NNPC between 2013 and 2014n within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did conduct procurement fraud by means of corruption when you collected car gift from Olajide Jones Omokore, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Ltd, Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Ltd and Kolawole Akanni Aluko on account of Strategic Alliance Agreement they had with NPDC and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 58(4b) of the Public Procurement Act CAP P44, Laws of the Federation to of rrest 2010 and punishable under Section 54(5) of the same Act”.

Author: News Editor

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