$1.6bn Oil Fraud: Witness Narrates How Omokore, Diezani’s Ally, Bought Cars for Friends, Associates
Abuja, April 26, 2018 (AltAfrika)-The trial of Jide Omokore, an ally to former Nigeria Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke, in an alleged case of $1.6billion oil fraud continued on Thursday before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja, with the seventh prosecution witness, Olutaye Ayeni, testifying.
Omokore, is facing a nine-count amended charge of criminal diversion of funds to the tune of $1.6billion alleged to be proceeds of petroleum products belonging to the federal government.
He is being prosecuted alongside Victor Briggs, Abiye Membere, David Mbanefo, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Ayeni, Chief Executive Officer, Skymit Motors, in his evidence narrated how Omokore used his company (Atlantic Energy) to purchase cars for friends and associates.
Led in evidence by Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, counsel to EFCC, Ayeni, who specialises in auto sales and a dealer in Mercedes Benz revealed how Omokore purchased series of cars from his company, to which he (Ayeni) received credit flow of over $8million between 2010 and 2015.
When asked of the relationship between his company and Omokore, the witness said:
“I know Omokore for the past 32 years and we have been a business partner for over 24 years.
“The transaction between my company and the defendant’s company was the supply of vehicles to him”.
Explaining how the cars were supplied, Ayeni said, “Before 2015, the defendant was one of our customers. He used to order cars and we supply to him. Sometimes he pays cash advance and sometimes in credit”.
The PW7 stated that, “after the defendant had placed his order – the type, make of cars and possibly the colour; we make delivery directly to him (Omokore) and sometimes through his company staff”.
He added that deliveries of cars were usually not made to third party except on customer’s request.
“We don’t make deliveries to third party except our customer asks us to do so”, he said.
Going further, the witness said “We sold to the defendant Mercedes Benz S550 at the cost of N26million in the name of Mbanefo David/Chief Omokore and another Mercedes M350 at the cost of 23million in the name of Nneka Bricks”.
Rotimi sought to tender the statement of account of the witness for July 2014, which contained names of individuals including Uche Secondus, Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who were supplied with cars on the order of Omokore, but was overruled following an objection by counsel to the 3rd defendant.
On the number of vehicles supplied to a third party on the order of Omokore, the PW7 stated that the cars were supplied in batches of 25, 9, 22 and 20 pickups.
He told the court that, he could not recall the actual amount involved in the purchase of the cars adding that different sums were credited to his company’s account on different dates.
Reading from ‘Exhibit 1’, a document already in evidence before the court, Ayeni said: “$1.26million was credited to Skymit. Other payments received from the defendant’s Sky Bank account include – $1millon on November 6, 2013; Two payments of $1million each on July 8, 2014; $1.5million on August 11, 2014and $1million on September 17, 2014“.
The case has been adjourned to April 27, 2018 for continuation of trial.