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Saturday, December 5, 2020

Alleged N1.6bn Oil Fraud: Court Adjourns Trial of Omokore, Others till Feb 2020

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja on Thursday, December 3, 2020, adjourned till February 22, 2021 for continued trial of Jide Omokore, two of his companies, Atlantic Energy Brass Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited, as well as Victor Briggs, former managing director, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC and Membere Abiye for alleged oil fraud involving Omokore’s companies in respect of a Strategic Alliance Agreement on OML 26, 30, 34 & 42.

The defendants are facing prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on amended nine-count charge, bordering on alleged money laundering and procurement fraud to the tune of $1.6billion.

At the resumed trial on Wednesday, December 2, 2020, prosecution witness, Abdulrasheed Bawa, who is an investigator with the EFCC, while being led in evidence by Adebisi Adeniyi, told the court that Omokore, (the first defendant) bought properties for former minister of petroleum resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

The properties, Penthouse 22, Block B, No 8, Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos and Penthouse 21, Block C5, Bella Vista Estate, Banana Island, Lagos, he said, were purchased at the cost of $1,194,000 and $3,570,000 respectively.

He tendered the documents in respect of the properties and they were admitted in evidence.

The two properties, however, were in 2018, forfeited to the Federal Government through an Order of a Federal High Court, Lagos, upon a proceeding, initiated by the EFCC.

Justice Dimgba adjourned the case today upon mention, to enable the counsel, who flew in from outside Abuja to catch up with their flights, ordering that the passports of the fourth and fifth defendants (Briggs and Abiye), respectively be released to them to enable them travel, stating that the passports must be returned to the court on or before the adjourned date.

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