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How Jide Omokore’s Atlantic Energy swindled FG $1.6bn

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Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Nigeria Limited, an oil firm owned by Olajide Omokore, that swindled billions of dollars from the flagship subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation – Nigeria Petroleum Development Company, is to refund $1.6bn to the oil firm following recent judgments obtained by the NNPC.

NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, said this was one of the recent achievements of the anti-corruption fight of the oil firm while speaking at the headquarters of the corporation in Abuja on Tuesday, after he was named patron of the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Professionals of Nigeria.

Baru said, “We’ve made a lot of inroads in terms of fraud detection, prevention and control. The most important thing for the economy and any business is to ensure that fraud does not occur. It is not to allow the fraud to take place and then you start fighting it. So, the prevention aspect of fraud is very key.

“Under the anti-corruption committee, we were able to ensure that all staff members of NNPC and those doing business with the corporation know the correct processes. They also know what constitutes corruption and, of course, they know the punishments that follow.

He added, “I will not like to itemise the areas or each aspect that we’ve done but I must tell you that there is a lot of sanity in what has happened. However, I can just mention one. Recently, we were able to get the Atlantic companies that were fleecing the NNPC subsidiary called NPDC ,and we got an award for them to refund $1.6bn to NPDC through the arbitration process.”

Baru said the NNPC had been able to address some high-profile court cases that were targeted at defrauding the national oil firm.

He cited an instance where the oil firm saved over $350m after it was able to settle a case which it had with another oil company out of court.

Baru said, “We’ve also been able to stem some of the high-profile court cases that we believe had been set up to defraud NNPC. And some of these activities are related to fighting corruption. If you see the amount of money involved and if you don’t have people who are determined to fight corruption, the chances are that you will be compromised.

“We’ve had some other cases, for example, NNPC versus IPCO, where they were demanding over $400m because of their activities. But we were able to settle out of court with them for $37.5m, which is a saving of several percentages and certainly less than 10 per cent of the initial demand.

“So, these are activities which the fraud investigation and, of course, forensic investigation are about, in order to ensure that fraud is not there because you will detect it, investigate it and prosecute it so that you get value for money.”

-Punch

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Tribunal sack: Dino Melaye reacts, says no cause for alarm

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The Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial district, Dino Melaye, has reacted to the nullification of his victory in the March 22 election and ordering of a fresh election by the Kogi West National Assembly/State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Lokoja on Friday.

Melaye, in a statememt, said the judgment is a miscarriage of justice and therefore, no cause of alarm.

The PDP chieftain further said that his legal team was already studying the judgement, adding that he would appeal it.

He said he was confident that the Appeal Court would upturn the judgement of the lower tribunal.

According to him, the judgement was full of importation of information that was alien to the case.

Melaye said, “I, however, commend the courage and moral strength of the chairman of the tribunal for resisting evil and standing on the part of justice?”

“I have confidence in the Appeal Court to right the wrongs as contained in the pronouncements of the judgement.”

He added, “I also want to tell those jubilating that their jubilation will be short-lived while appealing to my teeming supporters to remain calm as their mandate is safe and secure and cannot be taken through any mischievous means.

“However, our legal team is already working on appealing the judgment and I assure all that justice will prevail.”

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BREAKING: Tribunal sacks Dino Melaye as Kogi west senator

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The Kogi State National Assembly/State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal has quashed the victory of Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West Senatorial district.

Melaye (PDP) was declared winner in the February election by INEC but Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC) approached the tribunal, challenging INEC declaration on three grounds of irregularities, over voting and non compliance with the electoral acts.

The three man panel led by Justice A. O. Chijioke in a unanimous judgment on Friday accepted Adeyemi’s ground and order for reelection into the senatorial axis.

…More details shortly

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Sylva assumes duty as minister of state for petroleum …As NNPC, others welcome him

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The newly appointed Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has assumed duties with a pledge to reposition and chart a way forward for the Nigerian petroleum sector.

A press release Wednesday by the NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said Chief Sylva pledged to work with the experts at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the other departments and agencies under the Ministry to move the sector forward.

In a welcome ceremony for Chief Sylva at the NNPC Towers in Abuja, the new Minister of State for Petroleum Resources who was accompanied by his wife, Alanyingi Sylva, stated that with the calibre of workforce in the Ministry, he was sure that the nation’s oil and gas sector would move to the next level.

Chief Sylva, who is a former Governor of Bayelsa State brings on the job several years of cognate experience in the petroleum sector.

The new Minister of State contributed profoundly to the institution of the Amnesty programme in the Niger Delta region which, over time, has led to restoration of peace in the oil producing areas of Nigeria.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan, reassured Chief Sylva of the readiness of all members of staff in the Ministry to support him to succeed in the onerous task of transforming the Nigerian oil and gas sector for the good of all stakeholders.

On hand to welcome the Minister at the brief ceremony were the Group Managing director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari; Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Training Development Fund (PTDF), Dr. Bello Aliyu Gusau; and the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), Alhaji Ahmed Bobboi, amongst others.

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