Posted by News Express | 6 October 2015 | 3,627 times
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arrested Jide Omokore, owner of Atlantic Energy, who is said to be a business associate of former Nigeria’s petroleum minister Diezani Alison-Madueke. Omokore is being investigated by the EFCC on allegations of money laundering and conspiracy to siphon billions of naira in fraudulent oil industry contracts while Diezani Alison-Madueke was minister.
EFCC sources, who asked for anonymity, said Omokore allegedly used his companies to facilitate bogus oil swap deals that cost the country billions of naira. The sources also said Omokore had in the past been invited several times to the EFCC head office and questioned as part of ongoing-investigations of corruption in the oil sector. Omokore was still being detained at the head office of the anti-graft agency at the time of filing this report, late yesterday evening.
EFCC sources disclosed that the commission conducted simultaneous searches on Omokore’s houses in Lagos and the house of the former minister in Abuja, as she was being questioned in England.
Sources also confirmed that officials from the United Kingdom National Crime Agency are presently in Nigeria actively collaborating with EFCC operatives on the ongoing probe of the oil sector. Omokore’s arrest is said to be a follow-up to last Friday's arrest of Allison-Madueke by the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency on Friday over corruption allegations.The agency arrested her along with four others who were questioned and freed on bail.
Meanwhile, a Magistrates Court in London yesterday granted an application by the National Crime Agency (NCA) to impound 27,000 pounds seized from the former minister. The cash was seized under Section 295 of Proceeds of Crime Act 2012. The money was seized from Diezani after a raid in her London House as part of the agency’s investigation.
The Westminster Court on Marylebone Road said the money would be held in the custody of the court until April 5, 2016. In its ruling, the Magistrate court granted the prayer that will allow the police office to continue their investigation on the former minister over the allegation, BBC Hausa reported. Four other persons involved in the investigation, are also being questioned, according to the BBC report.
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