Two allies of former minister petroleum resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, have approached the Federal High Court in Lagos to stay further proceedings in a suit filed against them by the federal government. The federal government sued Kola Aluko and Jide Omokore last year alongside their companies, Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited and Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited, the Punch reports.
According to a lawyer from the federal ministry of justice Isaac Oginni, the accused rather than pay the federal government, converted the $1.8bn to their own and used it to, among others, buy several vehicles valued at over N800m, which they allegedly donated to the Peoples Democratic Party. The lawyer stated that the accused also bought another set of vehicles worth over N130m and gave them out to Diezani and some other management staff members of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company. Oginni said Aluko, among others, also used part of the allegedly diverted funds to purchase a 26-flat property at 46, Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos for which he made part payments of $18,548,619.99 and N1,070,000,000 to FBN Mortgages Limited. The court, presided over by Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo, then issued a mareva injunction freezing the defendants’ assets both at home and abroad pending the determination of the suit following the allegations against them until the final determination of the case. Efforts by the defendants to vacate the mareva injunction freezing their bank accounts and assets both locally and internationally failed late last year as Justice Oguntoyinbo dismissed their application, seeking to vacate the injunction.