Alleged $1.6bn Oil Fraud: Why My Company Paid $3M to YF Construction – Omokore



The money laundering and procurement fraud trial of Olajide Omokore, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Ltd, Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited, Victor Briggs (former managing director, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, and Abiye Membere continued today, Thursday March 3, 2022 before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja with the continuation of cross examination of the first defence witness, Olajide Omokore.

At the resume sitting today, prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs SAN, asked the defendant whether one of his company, Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept, paid Three Million, Five Hundred and Sixty-nine Thousand, Nine Hundred and Seventy-nine Dollars ($3,569,979) to YF Construction Development Estate Limited. The witness answered in the affirmative, but added that his company and YF build and sell properties together. “Sometimes if we have land, they build on it, or if they have land, we build on it and sell it together,” he stated.

Asked whether he has a Joint Venture with the company, he said, no but added that, maybe his legal department has.

The prosecuting counsel asked him to look at page 2 on Exhibit Atlantic 64 to confirm an invoice to his company, Energy property for the purchase of “Jaguar Ultimate” at 36 million naira, on October 14, 2013. He confirmed the invoice.

Jacobs further said page 3 shows the delivery of the vehicle but Omokore replied that nobody received it. He told the court that he saw the customer name and the signature on the invoice, and also confirmed that the delivery note was signed.

Asked whether he is aware that NPDC and NNPC staff are public servants, Omokore answered in the affirmative.

The prosecuting counsel sought to know whether the defendant knew that the managing director of the NPDC and NNPC determine the quantity of crude oil to be given out to his company. He replied that he knows of NNPC but cannot tell of NPDC.

Jacobs reminded the witness that it was Membere who as managing director of the NPDC in exhibit 12, signed all the operations. DW1 said he didn’t know, but said he knew Membere to be in charge of Exploration and Production.

To conclude his cross-examination, Jacobs sought to know whether Omokore’s companies were registered as charities, in view of the companies’ penchant for buying and giving out cars to people for free.

The witness answered; “No, they were not registered as charity organisations.”

Justice Dimgba thereafter discharged the witness, and adjourned the matter till Friday, March 4, 2022 for cross examination of the remaining defence witnesses.