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, Daily Trust gathered.
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.
Daily Trust learnt that 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 also noted 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 the recent arrest of Diezani by the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency on Friday over corruption allegations.
The agency arrested Mrs Madueke along with four others who were questioned and freed on bail.
Court allows British police to question Diezani over money laundering
…Court seizes #27,000 from Diezani
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.
Diezani Madueke not Charged to Court – NCA
Contrary to trending reports claiming that former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison Madueke was charged to court in London on Monday, UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) insisted that the former minister had not been charged yet.
A spokesman for the agency who gave his name simply as Stuart, told our correspondent in a telephone chat that none of the five people arrested on Friday as part of an investigation into suspected bribery and money laundering offences had been charged to court.
“I can confirm to you that none of the people arrested and granted bail on Friday has been charged to court”, he said, stressing that the suspects were still on bail.
The spokesman, who declined to comment on whether the ex-minister reported at the Charing Cross Police Station on Monday as scheduled, said he would not reveal the identity of suspects before they were charged to court.
Daily Trust reports that scores of journalists, activists and some “concerned” Nigerians besieged the Charing Cross Police station as early as 7:30 am to catch a glimpse of the former minister entering or leaving, but were disappointed as she failed to show up after waiting for several hours.
The UK’s anti-crime Agency, NCA weekend said the investigation that led to the arrest of the former minister and four others began in 2013 under the Proceeds of Corruption Unit, and transferred to the NCA earlier this year.