The Chief Executive Officer, Skymit Motors, Olutaye Ayeni, has told the Federal High Court in Abuja how Jide Omokore, an ally of the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, bought cars worth $8 million for friends and associates.
Ayeni, who is the seventh prosecution witness in an ongoing trial of $1.6 billion oil fraud case against Omokore, according to The Cable, appeared before Nnamdi Dimgba, a judge of the federal high court, Abuja, yesterday.
Omokore is facing a nine-count amended charge of criminal diversion of funds to the tune of $1.6billion alleged to be proceeds of petroleum products belonging to the federal government.
He is being prosecuted alongside Victor Briggs, Abiye Membere, David Mbanefo, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
According to a statement by Wilson Uwujaren, Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Ayeni said his company received credit flow of over $8million between 2010 and 2015.
â€œI know Omokore for the past 32 years and we have been a business partner for over 24 years. The transaction between my company and the defendantâ€™s company was the supply of vehicles to him,â€ he said.
â€œBefore 2015, the defendant was one of our customers. He used to order cars and we supply to him. Sometimes he pays cash advance and sometimes in credit.
â€œAfter the defendant had placed his order â€“ the type, make of cars and possibly the colour; we make delivery directly to him (Omokore) and sometimes through his company staff.â€
He said the company did not make third-party delivery unless instructed to do so and that the cars were supplied in batches of 25, 9, 22 and 20 pickups.
â€œWe sold to the defendant Mercedes Benz S550 at the cost of N26million in the name of Mbanefo David/Chief Omokore and another Mercedes M350 at the cost of 23million in the name of Nneka Bricks.â€
Rotimi, EFCC counsel, tried to tender the statement of account of the witness for July 2014, which contained names of individuals who were supplied with cars on the order of Omokore but was overruled following an objection by counsel to the third defendant.
The names included Uche Secondus, Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
â€œ$1.26million was credited to Skymit. Other payments received from the defendantâ€™s Skye Bank account include â€“ $1millon on November 6, 2013; two payments of $1million each on July 8, 2014; $1.5million on August 11, 2014, and $1million on September 17, 2014,â€ a document already in evidence before court read.
The case was adjourned until April 27, 2018.