July 5, 2016 - 4:30 AM EDT
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Court Strikes Out Diezani, Akanni Aluko's Names in Corruption Charge

Justice Binta Murtala Nyako of a federal high court in Abuja has struck out the names of former minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Allison Madueke and a businessman, Chief Kolawole Akanni Aluko from the criminal charges before the court.

While Madueke is in the United. States, Akanni Aluko is said to be at large.

Justice Nyako struck out their names after the prosecution counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacob, a senior advocate made an application to that effect.

Madueke and Akanni Aluko are being charged alongside Babajide John Omokore, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Ltd, Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Ltd, Victor Briggs, Abiye Membere and David Mbanefoover over alleged crude oil fraud.

Apart from Deziani and Omokore, others were arraigned and pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

After they pleaded not guilty, Justice Nyako granted a N50 million bail to Olajide Omokore and others arraigned before the court on a nine-count charge slammed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Omokore, an associate of Diezani, is standing trial along with others over allegation of money laundering.

In her ruling on the bail application of the defendants, Justice Nyako said each of the defendants must produce a surety, who must either be a senior civil servant or must have a landed property.

She said the sureties must develop an affidavit of means and that the defendants must also deposit their international passport with the court.

Count one on the charge sheet signed by the deputy director, legal and prosecution department of the EFCC, Aliyu M. Yusuf reads: "That you, Olajide Jones Omokore, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Ltd, Atlantic Energy Drilling 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 skilss 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.

Count three: "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 ypu 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.

Count five reads: 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 prceeds of an unlawful act and you thereby committed an offence contary to section 18 (a) of the money laundering (prohibition) 2011 as amende in 2012 and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.

And Count nine reads: "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 of Nigeria 2010 and punishable under Section 54(5) of the same Act".

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Source: Equities.com News (July 5, 2016 - 4:30 AM EDT)

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