Alleged Bribery: EFCC to Arraigns Diezani, Omokore next Year
…Files Application for Arrest
Justice Valentine Ashi of a Federal Capital Territory, FCT High Court, Apo, on December 3, 2018 granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, leave to arraign Diezani Alison-Madueke, a former Minister of Petroleum and Jide Omokore, a former Chairman, Atlantic Energy Drilling Company, for offences bordering on conspiracy and illegal act of accepting and giving gratifications.
They are alleged to have accepted and given gifts in properties located at Penthouse 22, Block B, Admiralty Estate, Ikoyi, and Penthouse 21, Building 5, Block C, Banana Island, Lagos. They are to be arraigned on February 25, 2019 on a five-count charge for the offences, which are contrary to Sections 26(1) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
The Commission however made application for warrant of arrest, condition precedent for Deziani’s extradition protocol to bring her back home to face trail. A motion exparte would be filed tomorrow, 4th December, 2018 deposing to the facts given on Diezani by the Commission.
Omokore is currently facing a nine-count amended charge of criminal diversion of funds to the tune of $1.6 billion alleged to be proceeds of petroleum products belonging to the Federal Government. He is standing trial along with Victor Briggs, former Managing Director, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Limited; Abiye Membere, former Group Executive Director, Exploration and Production, NNPC, and David Mbanefo, Manager, Planning and Commercial, NNPC.
Prosecuting counsel, Faruk Abdullahi, told the court today that Diezani, who is currently in the United Kingdom, jetted out of the country while investigations into the alleged fraudulent acts were ongoing.
“An invitation was sent to her by the EFCC in the course of investigations, but she refused to honour the invitation, but all processes are set in place to ensure that she comes back to face trial,” he said.
Omokore was also not in court because Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court where he is being prosecuted for offences of money laundering approved his application seeking medical attention.
The EFCC had recently expressed its resolve to ensure that Diezani was brought back to Nigeria to answer for various fraud allegations that have been linked to her in the course of investigations.
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity
Alleged N450m Fraud: EFCC Arraigns Ex-Kebbi Gov, Dakingari, Dec 6
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, will on December 6, 2018 arraign a former governor of Kebbi State, Usman Saidu Dakingari before a Federal High Court, Birnin-Kebbi, on a 13-count charge of conspiracy and money laundering.
Dakingari will be arraigned along with Sunday Dogonyaro and Garba Rabiu Kamba for allegedly conniving to collect the sum of N450 million (Four Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) only part of the $115 million (One Hundred and Fifteen Million Dollars) allegedly “shared” by the a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Deizani Alison-Madueke for the purpose of influencing the 2015 general election.
Dakingari and his co-defendants arraignment suffered series of adjournment due to their persistent absence.
On the last adjourned date, Justice Simone Amobeda gave the absentee defendants a last chance to appear before the court and take their pleas otherwise, he would “grant the prosecution’s prayers and invoke section 394 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 for the court to issue a bench warrant for their arrest”.
One of the charges reads that: “Usman Saidu Dakingari on or about the 27th March 2015 at Kebbi within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court made a cash payment of the sum of N49,640,000 (Forty Nine Million, Six Hundred and Forty Thousand Naira Only) to Alhaji Haruna Haruna without transacting through a financial institution and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act”.
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity
$4m Fraud: Court Denies Abebe’s Request For Release Of Seized Passport
Justice Mojisola Dada of the Spe cial Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, on Monday, December 3, 2018, turned down an application by John Abebe, for the release of his international passports. Abebe is being prosecuted for an alleged $4m fraud.
Abebe is facing trial over a four-count charge of forgery, fabricating evidence, using fabricated evidence and attempt to pervert the course of justice preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
In the application made orally, Abebe, through his counsel, E.D. Onyeke, sought the release of the passport to enable him travel to the United Kingdom, U.K.
Abebe’s lawyer told the court that his client lost his mother last night in the UK; hence, the request for the release of the passport.
However, in her response, Justice Dada ordered the defendant to file a formal application to the court. “Your oral application is not welcome,” the Judge held.
Also, at today’s proceedings, a prosecution witness, Prof. Fidelis Odita, SAN, admitted that he did not confront the defendant with the original document of the Net Profit Interest Agreement (NPIA) in the suit filed at the Federal High court against the defendant.
Under cross-examination by the defence counsel, Onyeke, the witness told the court that there was no reason to enter into another agreement with Abebe and his company, Inducon by BP Exploration, after both parties had signed the termination agreement.
He said BP Exploration gave “a generous agency agreement to Inducon before the termination agreement was signed, while BP Exploration and Statoil were alliance partners.”
The witness further admitted to the court that the Net Profit Interest Agreement, NPIA, was an agreement to pay the defendant money.
He also admitted that the NPIA had been entered into by BP and Inducon before oil production activities started.
The case was adjourned to January 25, 2019 for continuation of trial.
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity