Home » Nigerian businessman Olajide Omokore denies buying high-end cars and real estate for former petroleum minister

Nigerian businessman Olajide Omokore denies buying high-end cars and real estate for former petroleum minister

by Omokolade Ajayi

Nigerian businessman Olajide Omokore has denied purchasing high-end cars and real estate assets for former Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke and other government officials working for the state-owned oil corporation, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

According to Premium Times, Omokore, who is widely regarded as a close ally of Alison-Madueke, denied allegations that he purchased real estate assets and vehicles for the former minister and other officials while testifying in a trial on money laundering and fraud charges at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The remark was delivered during a trial in which he and his co-defendants were charged with nine counts of unlawful diversion of roughly $1.6 billion in revenues from petroleum products owned by the Nigerian government.

The prosecution was spearheaded by Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to uncover diversion of assets. Omokore is on trial with two of his firms, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Limited.

Omokore said his connection with Alison-Madueke was no more than professional, and he did not obtain high-end automobiles or homes for the former minister.

The list also includes a penthouse at House 22 and 21 in Admiralty, as well as Belevista Estate in Ikoyi, all of which are located in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Lagos.

The prosecution led by the anti-graft agency was launched in an effort to unearth $1.6 billion in cash proceeds from petroleum products belonging to the federal government. This comes nearly nine months after the EFCC collected $153 million from Allison-Madueke.

The anti-graft agency also recovered 80 properties worth $80 million from the former minister, who served under then-Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.

Since her resignation in 2015, luxury houses and assets allegedly purchased and acquired by Allison-Madueke have been confiscated on the basis that they were obtained unlawfully with public funds.

In 2017, an EFCC probe indicated that $487.5 million had been traced back to the former minister. According to the commission, fewer than six percent of the unlawful monies have been forfeited.

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