Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed additional 15-count criminal charges against Mr. Jide Omokore and others bordering on alleged money laundering band procurement fraud to the tune of $1.6bn.
Others standing trial before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja include two of his companies: Atlantic Energy Brass Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited, Victor Briggs and Membere Abiye.
They were initially re-arraigned on a nine-count amended charge brought by the anti-graft agency.
At the resumed trial on Tuesday, a prosecution witness, Abdul-Rasheed Bawa who was led in evidence by prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), told the court, how huge monetary transactions transpired among the defendants.
The witness, an investigator and data analyst with the EFCC, further told the court that sometime in 2013, the EFCC received a complaint from a non-governmental agency urging the Commission to investigate the activities of the former minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke, adding that the transactions involved huge sums of money in United States dollars between the first defendant and his companies in respect of Strategic Alliance Agreement on Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 26, 30, 34 and 42.
According to the witness, the EFCC received intelligence from Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) through the foreign based Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), on the alleged fraudulent transactions in dollars from the second and third defendants to one of their offshore companies.
Explaining further, Bawa told the court that the letters of the investigative activities were sent to NNPC, NPDC, Ministry of Petroleum Resources detailing the EFCC’s reports on the OML 26, 30, 34, 42, 4 38, and 41.
The prosecution witness, further identified exhibit three-30, as correspondences between the EFCC and some of the companies.
Meanwhile, Justice Dimgba has adjourned the matter until March 23, 2020 for continuation of trial.