Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday granted bail to a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and chairman of Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept, Andrew Yakubu, and four others.
Yakubu and Mr. Omokore, an ally of former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, 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, a condition the court insists they must meet before leaving the court premises.
The sureties should have properties in Abuja and should depose to affidavit of means while the defendants should also submit their international passports.
Earlier, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, 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, a company allegedly used for the diversion of $400 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 could not be reached and had not been served the notice of summons.
Jacobs 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,” Oyetibo said.
He said the prosecution had forced an …Read More
Source:: Nigerian Pilot