A federal high court in Abuja has jailedwa former top officials of Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation Victor Briggs and Abiye Members for two years.
The duo was arrested by the Economic Financial Crime Commission EFCC in 2023 after they was accused of $1.6billion fraud.
Justice Nnamdi Digmba of the Federal High Court, Abuja on Wednesday, February 8, 2023 sentenced the duo of Victor Briggs and Abiye Membere, both former top officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC to two years imprisonment after he found them guilty for “Unethically collecting car gifts as public officials,” an offense which contravenes Section 98 of the Criminal Code Act,
They were convicted on Tuesday, February 7 but the court reserved sentencing till, February 8, 2023.
When the matter resumed on Wednesday, the convicts through their counsel, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy, while O.A Atolagbe who held the brief of lead prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, urged the court to impose custodial sentence on the defendants.
Justice Dimgba sentenced the convicts to two years imprisonment with an option of Two Million Naira fine each, to be paid immediately to the Federal government.
The convicts were prosecuted by the EFCC for conspiracy in inducing the NPDC to facilitate the lifting of crude by Olajide Omokore, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited; and receiving car gifts from Omokore and his companies
One of the charge reads: “That you, OLAJIDE JONES OMOKORE, ATLANTIC ENERGY BRASS DEVELOPMENT LTD, ATLANTIC ENERGY DRILLING CONCEPT LTD and KOLAWOLE AKANNI ALUKO (now at large) between May 2013 and March 2014 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court obtained by false pretense and with intent to defraud, 7,551,867 barrels of crude oil (Brass blend) valued at the sum of $823,75,189.95 (Eight Hundred and Twenty Three Million, Seventy-Five Thousand, One Hundred and Eighty-Nine US Dollars and Ninety-Five Cents) from Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Federal Government of Nigeria on the false pretence that you had funds (both local and foreign) necessary to support the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Limited in petroleum operation for the OML 60,61, 62 and 63 and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act Cap. A6, 2010, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act”