20 June 2016, Abuja — The Federal Government will on July 4, 2016, arraign a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Andrew Yakubu, an oil magnate and owner of Atlantic Energy Limited, Jide Omokore, and others at the Abuja division of the Federal High Court.
But for the inability of the prosecution to bring the accused together in court, their arraignment would have taken place on Monday before Justice Binta Nyako.
Prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, while confirming the development, said that since all the suspects were not in court, the prosecution would not want to arraign them piece meal.
“The accused persons are scattered across the country and we are trying to avoid a situation whereby the accused persons will be arraigned separately.
“What we are trying to do now is to gather all the accused persons together and I believe we should be able to arraign them on July 4,” Jacobs said.
He further disclosed that the prosecution would be amending the charges against the accused.
Others to be arraigned alongside Yakubu and Omokore are Victor Briggs, Abiye Membere, David Mbanefo, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Limited.
Atlantic Energy Limited was one of the companies that allegedly received multi-billion dollar worth of public assets without due process from the Jonathan administration in 2011.
The company, which was created less than a year earlier and had not produced a drop of oil, was awarded controlling stakes in two lucrative oil blocks – OML 30 and 34 – for a little 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.
It was discovered that Shell, which owned the remaining 45 percent stake, paid $1.3 billion for a single field after an open and competitive bidding process.
The company was also accused of lifting crude oil, but only remitted a fraction of the value to the government.
*Alex Enumah – Thisday