Court grants Alison-Madueke’s associate, Omokore; Andrew Yakubu, conditional bail

Andrew Yakubu
Photo: www.thenigerianvoice.com
Andrew Yakubu
Photo: www.thenigerianvoice.com

A Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, has granted bail to the chairman of Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept; a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Andrew Yakubu, and four others.

Mr. Omokore, an ally of former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, and Mr. Yakubu were charged along with a co-owner of Atlantic Energy, Kola Aluko; Victor Briggs; Abiye Memnere; David Mbanefo; Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Limited.

Justice Binta Murtala-Nyako, who gave the ruling, ordered the defendants to provide bail bonds of N50 million each, with one surety in like sum.

The surety should have properties in Abuja and should depose to affidavit of means; while the defendants should submit their international passport or passports.

They are also to remain in the court premises until they meet their bail conditions.

Earlier the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had struck out the name of one of the defendants, Kola Aluko, who is said to be at large.

Mr. Aluko jointly owns Atlantic Energy with Mr. Omokore. The company was allegedly used for the diversion of N400 million in the guise of importing petroleum products in 2011.

The prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, had asked the judge to remove Mr. Aluko’s name from the charge sheet since he (Mr. Aluko) could not be reached and had not been served the notice of summons.

Mr. Jacobs had argued that the prosecution was not under compulsion to produce a defendant at large before arraigning other co-accused in the same matter.

But counsel to one of the defendants, Tayo Oyetibo, said the fact that one of the defendants had not been served with the court processes was a fundamental defect that would affect the entire proceeding.

“Section 266 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act states that there is no trial without arraignment, or service of charge,” Mr. Oyetibo said.

Mr. Oyetibo said the prosecution had forced an adjournment of the matter on June 20 to allow it to ensure the full participation of all parties involved in the case.

He said the inability of the prosecution to provide a proof of service for one of the defendants was a defect that should not be overlooked.

But Justice Murtala-Nyako ruled that the outcome of the trial would affect all those involved in the charge.

She however noted that a defendant at large could still be served with his notice of summons, and ruled that unless the prosecution employed other methods to serve the missing defendant, the charge could not be said to be ripe for reading to the other defendants.

In response to the ruling by Justice Murtala-Nyako, Mr. Jacobs asked that defendant Aluko be removed from the list of defendants.

He had earlier told the court that the charge was amended to include a nine-count charge, which was later read to the other defendants.

They pleaded not guilty to the charges and the trial was adjourned to October 19 and 20.

In 2011, during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Atlantic Energy, alongside other companies, was allegedly given multibillion dollar worth of public assets without due process.

As at the time, the company, which was barely a year old and had no history of producing a droplet of oil, was awarded controlling stakes in two lucrative oil blocks – OML 30 and 34 – for just over $50 million each.

The deal, which was signed by the immediate past minister of petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke, gave Atlantic Energy Limited a controlling 55 percent stake in the oil block.

Interestingly, Shell, which owned the remaining 45 per cent stake, fetched $1.3 billion for a single field after an open and competitive bidding process.

Incorporated as Atlantic Drilling Energy Concept Limited on July 19, 2010, it signed a Strategic Alliance Agreement with the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) shortly afterwards.

The NPDC is the upstream production subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

Under the agreement, Atlantic took charge of four oil blocks- OML 26 FHN, OML 30 Shoreline, OML 34 Niger-Delta Oil and OML 42 Neconde. It was to provide funds, technical services, drill and sell crude oil.

The company was also accused of lifting crude oil, but remitting only a fraction of its worth to government.

In 2012, according to NNPC insiders, Atlantic Energy paid $168m into government account, but lifted about three million barrels – valued at over $350 million.

In 2013, it also lifted about two million barrels of crude valued at about $240million, but paid only $68million.

Similarly, in 2014, Atlantic Energy paid zero cash-call, but lifted about 500,000 barrels of crude oil, valued at $54 million.

Mr. Yakubu was the GMD of the NNPC between 2012 and 2014 when Atlantic Energy lifted oil without remitting what was due to government.


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  • Peter_Edo

    This Judge Binta, i don’t get it. people are stealing billions of naira and getting 100s of millions as bail, someone one else is stealing BILLIONS OF DOLLARS and she is giving tens of millions of NAIRA AS BAIL…. YEYE IS SMELLING!!!

    • Kamalu

      The figures does not add up. The AGF and CJN should investigate the missing links.

  • Bayo Ola

    This judge is not making sense. How can she set a bail term of 50 million for those who stole billions? Nigeria judiciary is a huge mess!!

    • The facts

      What evidence do you have to show that they stole billions?

      • Amir

        Ewu. Anuofia. Worthless object.

    • Sir Demo

      And that they should remain COURT PREMISES! If a thief that stole a cell phone is brought before this disgrace of a judge, it will be remand in Kirikiri straight

  • Dazmillion

    This Binta Murtala-Nyako is she not the second or third wife of Murtala-Nyako who is also facing corruption charges? Her decisions in this trial needs to be monitored closely by EFCC

  • Paul Graham

    What were the bail conditions for Metuh who was docked for Four Hundred Million naira only?

  • Jerry E

    As things are going all the big houses in Abuja will soon be on surety status anyway most of them were built with Nigeria embezzled money.

  • Artful ºDodger

    This judge must be mad, N50 million each only? Why will these people get this generous bail and Fani Kayode and co are given bail to the tune of a billion niara? The CJN need to investigate this judge on this matter because he or she is surcharging Nigeria. These criminals pay N50 million each while she go home with like sum from each of them.

    In a case involving these kind of people, bails should have been set at $800 million each and they should have been remanded in prison custody until the bail conditions are perfected.

  • Sir Demo

    The DSS shd rearrested the thieves for economic sabotage iro subsidy scam. Bonita Nyako and Maryln Odili types of judges are not needed on out benches anymore.