This story is being reprinted with permission from NEXT which remains its appropriate copyright owner.By Idris Akinbajo
Olajide Omokore, the Chairman of Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited and director of Seven Energy International Limited is not new to controversy, as previous companies owned or directed by him have been involved in one controversy or the other.
Atlantic Energy got control of the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company’s (NPDCs) 55 percent interest in two oil fields (OML 30, and 34) in controversial circumstances on the expected last day of the former Federal Executive Council. The company is barely a year old, as it was formed in July last year; but it has been one of the greatest beneficiaries of controversial approvals made by Mrs Allison-Madueke.
During the course of the transaction between Atlantic Energy and NPDC, another company, SPOG petrochemical Limited stood as guarantor for both OML 30, and 34 transactions. Mr Omokore is the executive chairman of SPOG. SPOG is also believed to be a subject of a discreet investigation for fraud by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation. The investigation concerns petrol import. SPOG allegedly imported 3,000 metric tonnes of PMS but filed claims for subsidy payment to Petroleum Product Regulatory Agency on the basis that it imported 13,000 metric tonnes, thus claiming ₦400m more than warranted on a single order.
Seven Energy Limited, which owns Septa Energy Nigeria Limited, is also one of the business interests of Mr. Omokore. Septa Energy, as reported by NEXT in its last week edition, secured the concession of OML 4, 38, and 41 in controversial circumstances in the last days of the Allison-Madueke regime as petroleum minister.
Seven Energy is partly owned by Energy Resources group, which is chaired by Mr Omokore.
Energy Resources Management Limited, another company owned by Mr Omokore, was also involved in the import waiver scandal. A Daily Trust investigation published in December 2010 revealed that Energy Resources imported 250,000 metric tonnes of rice into the country without paying a dime either as import duties, levies, ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS), Comprehensive Import Scheme (CISS) and other levies because of the waiver it allegedly got from the presidency.
Linked to the Obasanjo campaign Fivatek Nigeria Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Energy Resources Group, was also involved in the crises ridden National Fertilizer Company (NAFCON) before it was sold.
Mr Omokore was alleged to have colluded with Sunny Essien, a former Managing Director of the then publicly-owned company and others to funnel ₦10million belonging to NAFCON into former President Obasanjo’s campaign account, largely through the company’s account domiciled with the Abuja branch of the defunct Trade Bank. Mr Omokore is believed to have been indicted by the judicial commission of enquiry which looked into the finances of NAFCON.
Editor’s Note: This story, which was part of the famous Diezani series, was first published on April 10, 2011, in 234next.com. It is being republished for record purpose only, especially because the 234NEXT website is down. More articles in the series will run here in the days ahead.