The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has released Jide Omokore on bail after questioning him over alleged corrupt practices in the nation’s oil sector.
Omokore owner of Atlantic Energy, who is said to be a business associate of former Nigeria’s petroleum minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, was on Monday held at the EFCC head office in Abuja.
EFCC sources said that Omokore has been released on bail and expected to be available whenever needed by investigators at the anti-graft commission in what they say is still an ongoing investigation.
Omokore was arrested and grilled for several hours at the EFCC head office over allegations of money laundering and conspiracy to siphon billions of naira in fraudulent oil industry contracts while Diezani Alison Madueke was minister.
Omokore allegedly used his companies to facilitate bogus oil swap deals that cost the country billions of naira.
However, a close associate of Omokore yesterday argued that he was not held by the EFCC, but only interviewed and asked to go.
He said if the EFCC had any reason to hold him, he would not have been asked to go.
He stated that honouring an invitation from the commission did not mean he was arrested or detained.
He also confirmed that Omokore had been invited many times in the past to EFCC head office to answers questions all of which he honored.
He said that the invitation on Monday had nothing to do with the investigation of Mrs Madueke.
He explained that rather it had to do with pending payment of “cash calls” which is a normal business transaction between his company and the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
He explained that the issues are normal business transactions where there are legal documented agreements by the two parties and efforts are being made to resolve them.
He added that Omokore went to the EFCC office in dismay after his house and office were searched by operatives of the EFCC on Friday and Saturday