$1.7 billion Fraud: Court Adjourns Omokore, Aluko’s Suit to Nov. 10

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A loot recovery suit filed by the Federal Republic of Nigerian and two of its agencies Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Ltd (NPDC) and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) against two oil companies Atlantic Energy Drilling concepts Nigeria Limited (AEDC) and Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited (AEBD), in order to recover the sum of $1,762,338,184.40.has further been adjourned till 10th of November, 2017 for hearing.

The case did not go on Friday as scheduled because the court did not sit. Joined as co -defendants in the suit are two Nigerian businessmen Olajide Omokore and Kolawole Aluko who are both Chairman and Director of the two companies respectively.

Meanwhile, there is pending application filed before the court by Omokore and Aluko and their companies urging the court to set aside the interim order and stay further proceedings in the suit on the ground that they have filed an appeal against the ruling of the court temporarily forfeiting some of their properties and assets to the Federal Government of Nigeria, in addition they are contending that the court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the suit, therefore cannot make the order it granted.

However, in a counter affidavit to the said application sworn to by a Lagos lawyer Adedotun Akintola -Idowu on behalf of Federal Government of Nigeria and filed before the court by Dipo Okpeseyi SAN, the deponent averred that the same defendants submitted to the jurisdiction of the court in another case on same subject matter in suit FCH/ABJ/477/16 seeking for its referral to arbitration.

Akintola -Idowu averred further that the defendants mere raising issues of lack of jurisdiction and fair hearing in its notice of appeal did not in themselves create a magic wand by which a court of law will grant them an order of stay of proceedings.

Consequently, Akintola-Idowu contended that the appeal was a set up to delay or frustrate the hearing of the substantive matter before the court, as they did not have sustainable ground of appeal, as their grounds of appeal are nebulous and did not deserve the grant of its relief sought before the court.

If the application is granted to deprive the Federal Government from attaching the defendants properties and monies by way of the order of the court, it will pave way for such properties and assets to be dissipated away from the jurisdiction of the court if judgement is entered in favour of the Federal Government, therefore, he prayed the court that the application for staying proceeding of the court pending the appeal be dismissed for lack of merit with costs awarded in favour of the Federal Government.

Meanwhile there is another pending application filed by a limited liability company Virtual Properties and Investment limited as intervener, urging the court to discharge or varying its order,as it relate to Marion Apartments,on the ground that some properties known as Marion Apartments located at Block 8 Plots 4&5 Onikoyi Estate, Banana Island, Ikoyi consists of 56 apartments owned and developed by the intervener by virtue of two separate deeds of sublease the intervener conveyed its interest in 43 out the 56 apartments to Realblanc Energy Engineering limited, an affiliate of the defendants.

Credit: PM News