- May Implicate Some Serving Govs, Others
By The New Diplomat Economic Intelligence Desk
Fresh revelations have emerged as to how a former Business ally of controversial former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, Jide Omokore who is standing trial for nine count charges, alleged criminal diversion of about $1.6bn alleged to be part of proceeds of the sales of petroleum products belonging to the Federal Government which he and companies belonging to him failed to remit to the coffers of the Federal government as required by law, allegedly funded elections in about six states of the federation in 2015.
The New Diplomat investigations show that Jide Omokore who is the chairman of Atlantic Energy Brass Development Company Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Limited was said to have deployed enormous funds to fund the political campaigns of some frontline governorship aspirants drawn from both the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) in six states of the federation allegedly under the directive of Diezani. Sources revealed that the governorship aspirants are from Kogi, Cross River, Delta and Rivers. The New Diplomat gathered that Omokore had used these funds to back some of these top contenders who were still battling to secure Parties nominations in these various states at that time.
Controversial Jide Omokore who was re-arraigned before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba alongside Victor Briggs, Abiye Membere, and David Mbanefo last month for defrauding the federal government using phoney business companies such as Atlantic Energy Drilling and Atlantic Energy Brass to corner about 1.6b USD from a so –called Strategic Partnership Agreement with NPDC, has been in and out of court since the last few months. Without any bidding process as in accordance with due process and procurement regulations, the NPDC signed “strategic partnership agreements” worth around $6.6 billion with Atlantic Energy, got two and one other firm- Seven Energy. Interestingly, as reported by The New Diplomat since June 2015, Omokore’s briefcase company-Atlantic Energy was incorporated the day before it signed the deal with NPDC, a subsidiary of the NNPC.
Said an insider: ‘’It is sad that Jide (Jide Omokore) is really suffering now. Because most of the funds from those deals were channelled to fund elections of some governorship aspirants in states like Kogi, Rivers, Cross River, Delta amongst others. Jide stormed those states with cash during primaries and spent money. I can confidently tell you that Jide Omokore may have spent about N2bn in those primaries and the actual elections. That is where some of those funds from the NPDC deals went, coupled with his expensive and lavish lifestyle. Diezani also ensured that they funded PDP.”
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Omokore who became very rich overnight from the Oil and Gas deals was at that time estimated by Forbes as having an annual revenue at Energy Resources at $400 million. His jet-setting lifestyle then also equaled Kola Aluko, his business partner at Atlantic Energy. But today, the chicken has come home to roast. Both Omokore and Aluko who allegedly made about $3.9Billion from shady oil deals under Diezani, are now facing various ordeals.
Part of the charges against Omokore reads: “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 Petroleum Corporation and the Federal Government of Nigeria to deliver to you 5,652,227 barrels of crude oil (Brass blend) amounting to $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 the NPDC in petroleum operations 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.”