In Nigeria today, the very rich and the powerful see crime and misdeeds as the only thing that is peculiar to other people and shouldn’t be part of their business. They act as if any one that will wear the tag of criminal should be another person distant from them. Meanwhile, what they do virtually on a daily basis amounts to nothing but undiluted crime to earn them the main trophy in wrongdoing.
That is why despite the glaring fact that there were indeed shady dealings between the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Billionaire Oil mogul, Jide Omokore’s Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited (AEDCNL), the supposed ‘big man’ from Kogi State is still doing everything in his powers to cloud majority of the citizens over what may soon be in the public going by President Buhari’s threat to expose oil thieves.
Jide Omokore who has been in panic mode since the Daura born ex- military officer attained the number one seat in the country has been looking for a way to make the proverbial cup flow over his head. He knew though, but did not want to admit it that he has short-changed the Nigerian Economy to the tune of $3Billion through the unholy alliance with the NNPC and the ex-Minister Diezanni Allison Madueke who turned Omokore overnight to billionaire in dollars.
Omokore who has since been perfecting a plea to refund the big portion of the unremitted funds traced to him in multiple dealings with NNPC that included improper subsidy claim, undelivered crude exchange and other shady deals has just sold his mansion in Paddington, an area within the City of Westminster, in central London for a whopping 7 Million Pounds Sterling. The house which is one of the biggest in that prime area was bought about three years ago when the dollar rain began to drench the Kogi State born billionaire. However, when he felt the threat of the former military head of state that now controls the affairs of the nation would become reality; he had to sell it to recoup some of the stolen funds from the covers of the country’s treasury.
Aside the mansion, the now very wealthy man has also put up for sale his private jet which he bought when he realized his new status as a billionaire in dollars.
But would these save him from imminent probe is still what many are doubting, going by the precedence of the new sheriff that has just taken over from the old order.
Many people are irked with the fact that Jide Omokore, especially with the way aportfolio company in 2010 was incorporated and saddled with such huge responsibility as soon as Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke assumed office after her redeployment from mines and steel development ministry. Till present time, many are still wondering why NPDC that has enough people who are well trained and that can boast of best engineers and technical experts, granted the Strategic Alliance Agreement (SAA) to a company that paraded no track record of requisite experience in the sector – all without following any process as stipulated in the government procurement laws and policy.
Curiously, the company changed its name to Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited (AEDCNL) on October 27, 2011. However, Atlantic Energy, even without prior record of successful experience in the oil and gas sector, announced that it had entered into a SAA with the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) in April 2011; that was exactly six months before AEDCNL was legally born. In a nutshell, the company that claimed to have signed the SAA with NPDC was not legally in existence when the deal was shoddily consummated in April 2011, as unknown portfolio company, Atlantic Energy was operating from a temporary office accommodation before it opened office in 2012 at 32a Adetokunbo Ademola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, after the NPDC fortune had smiled on it. With the NPDC contract in its kitty, Atlantic Energy embarked on a massive recruitment exercise, poaching good hands in the oil industry, which it used to actualize its planned scheme to play big in Nigeria’s highly shady oil and gas sector.
The SAA covered 4 oil blocks: oml 26 – fhn; oml 30 shoreline; oml 34 – niger delta oil, and oml 42 neconde, all sold by Shell /Agip and Total. It was obvious that the NPDC granted the SAA in absolute secrecy without following any due process as stipulated in the government procurement laws and policy. With the sale of the four oil blocks, in which the federal government owns 55 per cent, the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), which oversees national investments in Joint Venture Companies (JVCS), Production Sharing Companies (PSCS), and Services and Services Contract Companies (SCS), transferred the ownership to NPDC as the upstream producing arm of the NNPC. Although, the NPDC should have paid NAPIMS a signature bonus, no payment was made, leading to a loss of asset by the federation and loss of revenue that should have accrued to national coffers. This was confirmed by the recent PWC audit report, which audited remittances from NNPC to the Federation Account after the allegations by Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) who is now the Emir of Kano. The audit findings showed that remittances into the federation account were not up to date.
Now that both Diezanni and Ex- President Jonathan have been swept away by the change advocates, there is no how that Jide Omokore won’t answer some pertinent question. Already, we gathered that NPDC, that seemed to have been sleeping all the while has just suddenly realized the need to get all its money that was not remitted back to the establishment. It has written to Atlantic Energy, asking the coy to pay its outstanding indebtedness omls 26, 30, 34, and 42, totalling $573,668,090 (five hundred and seventy three million, six hundred and sixty eight thousand, ninety dollars).