Chairman of Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited, Jide Omokore, was on Monday arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
Other defendants to the charge are: Victor Briggs, Abiye Membere, David Mbanefo, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Limited.
They were arraigned on a four count charge of criminal diversion of $1.6 billion alleged to be proceeds of petroleum products belonging to the federal government.
The accused pleaded not guilty when the counts were read to them. They were then granted bail in the sum of N50 million each with one surety who must be owner of a landed property in the Federal Capital Territory or a senior civil servant.
They are also to deposit all of their travel documents in the court, and swear to an affidavit of means along with their sureties.
Counsel to the defendants had earlier argued that their clients would not take their plea when the prosecution had not shown any evidence of proof of service on Diezani Alison-Madueke and one Kolawole Aluko, who were both said to be at large.
The counsels argued that Diezani and Aluko had been charged alongside Omokore and five others but the prosecution have failed to list them on the defendants list.
Ruling on the submission, Justice Binta Nyako held that the charge brought before the court was not ripe for plea.
Following her ruling, the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Jacobs made an oral application to remove the names Madueke and Aluko from the charge sheet, after which the defendants took their plea.
The trial was then fixed for October 19, 2016.