Jide Omokore, a businessman and associate of former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Allison-Madueke has been re-arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), before a Federal High Court, in Abuja.
Omokore and co-defendants were charged on a nine-count charge of criminal diversion of about $1.6 billion, which according to the EFCC was proceeds of petroleum products belonging to the Federal Government.
Others charged with Omokore were Victor Briggs, Abiye Membere, David Mbanefo, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Limited.
All the accused persons pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them.
The prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, urged the court to fix a date for the commencement of trial and allow the defendants to enjoy the bail earlier granted them by Justice Binta Nyako.
Counsel to the defendants did not object to the request of Jacobs, urging the court to accede to his request.
The charges read in part: “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 (NNPC) and the Federal Government of Nigeria to deliver to you 5,652,227 barrels of crude oil (Brass blend) amounting to the sum of US$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 NPDC in petroleum operation 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.”
December 8, 2016 was fixed for hearing.