Malabu Oil Deal: EFCC To Arraign Adoke, Others On Tuesday

A photo combination of EFCC’s logo and a former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke, after he returned to Nigeria aboard Emirates Airlines Flight 785 on Thursday. Photo: Twitter- @officialEFCC.

 

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has concluded plans to arraign a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mister, Mohammed Adoke.

The anti-graft agency is to arraign Mr Adoke on Tuesday, having filed charges against him before a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja.

In the charges obtained by Channels Television, the EFCC filed 12 counts against Mr Adoke, Aliyu Abubakar, Rasky Gbinigie, as well as Malabu Oil and Gas Limited.

Others listed on the charge sheet are Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited, and Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company Limited.

The commission has also filed seven counts before a Federal High Court against Mr Adoke and Mr Abubakar.

It filed the charges at both courts in Abuja, after deciding to prosecute the former minister for the role he allegedly played in the controversial Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 245, otherwise known as Malabu oil scam.

Adoke was arrested by the EFCC in December last year after returning from Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where he was first arrested and detained.

The anti-graft agency accused the former minister, Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, Shell Nigeria Ultra-Deep (SNUD), and Nigeria Agip Exploration (NAE) of conspiracy, forgery of bank documents, bribery, corruption and money laundering to the tune of over $1.2 billion.

Court Hears Adoke’s Bail Application Today

Mohammed Adoke

 

A Federal Capital Territory High Court in the nation’s capital, Abuja is expected to hear the bail application of former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, today.

Mr Adoke has been in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), since he returned to the country from the United Arab Emirates.

After his release from the custody of the police in Dubai, he was picked up by the Interpol at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, before he was later handed over to the EFCC.

The former AGF is being investigated alongside other suspects, over the $1.09billion Malabu oil block (OPL 245) deal.

Court Orders Arrest Of Dan Etete, Adoke, Others Over Malabu Oil Deal

 

A Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Jabi has ordered the arrest of Dan Etete, a former Minister of Petroleum, Mohammed Adoke, a former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation and four others who were allegedly implicated in the Malabu Oil scandal.

According to a statement by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the warrant of arrest was issued by Justice D.Z. Senchi on Wednesday after they failed to appear to face charges related to the scandal.

The statement said that all the defendants declared wanted have repeatedly failed to appear before the court.

The EFCC had through its counsel, Aliyu Yusuf, brought a motion ex parte praying the court for a warrant of their arrest, and an order for leave to execute the warrant outside of the jurisdiction of the court.#

READ ALSO: Police Arraign Dismissed Personnel Over Death Of NSCDC Officer

The proceedings on Wednesday had Justice Senchi, grant the prayers of the EFCC, and ruled that the Nigeria Police, the INTERPOL and any other law enforcement agency should arrest them anywhere they were found including outside jurisdiction of the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT) High Court.

The EFCC had since 2017 pressed charges against Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Co. Ltd, Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, Eni Spa, Raph Wetzels, Casula Roberto, Pujato Stefeno, Burrato Sebastiano, Duazia Louya Etete (aka Dan Etete), Mohammed Bello Adoke, Aliyu Abubakar and Malabu Oil & Gas Limited.

The matter was adjourned to July 11, 2019, for further hearing.

FG To Open Fresh Investigations On OPL 245

 

The Federal Government has announced plans to revisit the Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 245 awarded to Malabu Oil in 2011 by the previous administration.

The chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption, Mr Okoi Obono-Obla disclosed this at an anti-corruption situation room in Abuja on Wednesday.

Read Also: FG Approves Reduction Of NECO Fees, Cost Of JAMB Forms

According to him, the move is aimed at compelling oil companies operating in Nigeria that have continuously evaded the payment of tax to fulfil their obligations.

Obono-Obla says public servants mentioned in the panama papers for owning offshore assets are also being investigated.

Malabu Controversy: Malami Asks Buhari To Stop Trial Of Adoke, Diezani, Others

File photo: Abubakar Malami

The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the Malabu Oil scam trial involving the former Attorney-General Mohammed Bello Adoke and the ex- Minister of Petroleum Diezani Alison-Madueke, PremiumTimes has said.

In a letter dated September, 27, 2017, and obtained by the online newspaper, the AGF said, following due examination of the case files, he was able to determine that the EFCC had no significant evidence to prove its allegations of sharp practices against the principal players and others in the controversial Malabu oil deal.

OPL 245 oil block was approved for sale by the Goodluck Jonathan administration in a sales and purchase deal involving Shell, Agip-Eni and Malabu oil and gas ltd.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has, however, been investigating fraud and criminal conspiracy charges against Mr Adoke, Mr Etete and their alleged accomplices since 2016 on the case.

While the officers are believed to be at large, Mr Malami insists that the anti-graft office is on a wild goose chase in its attempt to prosecute them.

“There is nothing to show that the parties as constituted were at all times working together and having ‘meeting of the mind’ to wit to forge CAC documents and use some for the purpose of divesting the shares of the complainants and thereafter enter into a settlement agreement with FGN and other parties to take delivery of the proceeds of sale OPL 245.

“There is also nothing in the proof of evidence to support the charge money laundering and it is therefore impossible for the prosecution to prove the elements which include illicit funds, transfer for such through various channels to re-introduce same again into the regular financial system as legitimate funds in financial institutions etc.

“Without the express proof of these elements, the count may not be sustained on the premise of the attached proof of evidence.

“The EFCC investigation and attached proof of evidence do not appear to have clearly revealed the case of fraud against the parties who claimed to have acted in their official capacities with the approval of three consecutive presidents of the federal government of Nigeria at the time with further claim that the matter was intended to be resolved in national interest thereby saving the nation acrimonious litigations resulting in high legal fees and the dormancy of the oil field while litigation lasted,” Malami said.

Meanwhile, Adoke, Etete and Diezani including other officials named in the scandal have, denied any wrongdoings.

Adoke maintained that the sale of OPL 245 was approved to save Nigeria from huge financial losses that could arise from international arbitration lawsuits.

Mr Malami in his letter, therefore, asked the president to immediately intervene to save Nigeria from international embarrassment and reputation damage.

Furthermore, he said Nigeria should take advantage of some favourable clauses in the agreement that allowed for government’s ownership of a part of the oil field.

“Your Excellency, the beneficial approach I counsel in the circumstances is for the federal government to take advantage of the terms of the agreement under clauses five and 11 to acquire a stake in the OPL 245 converting it to a production sharing contract (PSC) between FGN/NNPC, Shell and Agip after negotiating with the ENI/Shell to absorb the cost of the FGN/NNPC entry under the said clauses five and 11 through the PSC mechanism,” he said.

At the last hearing of the case on January 28, Adoke had asked the Federal High Court to dismiss the suit brought against him even as his lawyer, Mr Kanu Agabi, referenced Mr Malami’s letter.

On the other hand, Dayo Apata who represented the Federal Government challenged the content of the letter saying it is an advisory which does not stop the government from prosecuting the former AGF.

Having taken arguments for and against the hearing of the suit, Justice Binta Nyako adjourned the suit on February 28, 2018, for the ruling.

Malabu Oil: Former AGF, Adoke Asks Court To Dismiss Suit Against Him

A former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke, is asking a Federal High Court to dismiss the suit brought against him by the Federal Government for alleged criminal diversion of funds in the transaction involving Malabu Oil.

At the resumed hearing of the suit, lawyer to the former AGF, Mr Kanu Agabi while adopting his written address drew the attention of the court to a letter written by the Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami advising President Buhari on the need to discontinue the suit on the ground that the proof of evidence attached to the suit does not link Mr Adoke with the charges brought against him.

The Solicitor General of the Federation, Mr Dayo Apata who represented the Federal Government, however, challenged the content of the letter saying it is an advisory which does not stop the government from prosecuting the former AGF.

Having taken arguments for and against the hearing of the suit, Justice Binta Nyako adjourned the suit on February 28, 2018, for the ruling.

In October 2017, the Federal Government recovered $85million from the United Kingdom as part of the stolen funds from the Malabu Oil deal.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, disclosed this during a consultative meeting on assets recovery in Abuja.

READ ALSO: FG Recovers $85m From UK On Malabu Oil Deal

Malami, however, decried the non-compliance attitude of some countries that are still holding on to stolen assets.

“I am also pleased to announce that Nigeria has recovered the sum of $85m on the Malabu fund from the UK.

“Therefore, I wish to use this forum to reiterate the need for the international community to ensure implementation of mergers considered and adopted at the London Anti-Corruption Summit in May 2016,” he said while soliciting the cooperation of the international community in the fight against corruption.

The Justice Minister also lamented the attitude of some countries perceived not to be giving Nigeria the needed support.

He added, “It is fortunate to state at this point that recovery and repatriation of our stolen wealth searched approach continues to be very tedious in spite of several bi-lateral and multi-lateral agreements entered into between Nigeria and other jurisdictions.

 

 

FG Recovers $85m From UK On Malabu Oil Deal

FG Recovers $85m From UK On Malabu Oil Deal
File photo: Abubakar Malami

The Federal Government says it has recovered $85million from the United Kingdom as part of the stolen funds from the Malabu Oil deal.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, disclosed this on Thursday during a consultative meeting on assets recovery in Abuja.

Malami, however, decried the non-compliance attitude of some countries that are still holding on to stolen assets.

“I am also pleased to announce that Nigeria has recovered the sum of $85m on the Malabu fund from the UK.

“Therefore, I wish to use this forum to reiterate the need for the international community to ensure implementation of mergers considered and adopted at the London Anti-Corruption Summit in May 2016,” he said while soliciting the cooperation of the international community in the fight against corruption.

The Justice Minister also lamented the attitude of some countries perceived not to be giving Nigeria the needed support.

He added, “It is fortunate to state at this point that recovery and repatriation of our stolen wealth searched approach continues to be very tedious in spite of several bi-lateral and multi-lateral agreements entered into between Nigeria and other jurisdictions.

“Even when the provisions of the United Nations Convention against corruption obliged states parties to facilitate the return of stolen assets to victim states, countries including Nigeria are still dealing with some challenges.

“My office has also put in place necessary machinery to hold bilateral talks with countries of interest during the Global Forum on Asset Recovery. These countries include United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, Switzerland, South Africa, Panama, United Arab Emirates, Northern Ireland, Gambia among others.

The AG however reiterated the resolve of the government to recover more funds, having signed several treaties to facilitate the return of stolen assets.

 

Reps To Summon Goodluck Jonathan Over Malabu Deal

The House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on OPL 245 is set to invite former President Goodluck Jonathan to testify in the ongoing investigation over the Malabu Oil deal.

The committee noted however that it had conducted an extensive investigation into the OPL 245 saga and that it was drawing to a close.

It, therefore, stated that in the interest of thoroughness, natural justice and fair play, it was imperative that evidence should be taken from the former President.

In arriving at the decision, a statement by the committee noted that it took account of the following facts:

(i) Mr Jonathan was the President at the material time the Ministers brokered the deal that lead to the allegation of $1bn diversion of funds;

(ii) Mr Jonathan’s name features in the proceedings initiated by the Public Prosecutor of Milan in Italy;

(iii) A U.K. Court Judgment in relation to an application to return part of the money being restrained, castigated the Jonathan Administration as not having acted in the best interest of Nigeria in relation to the ‘deal’;

(iv) The Attorney-General of the Federation at the material time, Mohammed Bello Adoke, has recently instituted proceedings in court wherein he pleads that all his actions were as as instructed by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

“Accordingly, pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution, the Committee has decided to request that former President Goodluck Jonathan gives evidence as to his role in the matter.”

The statement sent by the House, said the Secretariat will write to him asking for his response and submissions.

Malabu Oil: Case Against Adoke, Others Adjourned Till October 26

The case against former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke; a former Minister of Petroleum, Mr Dan Etete; oil giants, Shell, Eni and four others has again been adjourned.

The adjournment to October 26, according to the prosecutor, Mr Johnson Ojugbane, is as a result of the inability of the Federal Government to secure the attendance of the defendants in the case.

According to him, most of them are outside the country and the government is making efforts to make them attend their trial or be extradited.

The EFCC had in December 2016, charged nine suspects, for allegedly transferring more than $800 million purportedly meant for the purchase of the oil producing license 245 to Mr Don Etete, a former petroleum minister, and Malabu Oil.

Earlier in May, the Federal High Court in Abuja had deferred hearing of the legal action instituted by Malabu Oil against the Federal Government on the ownership of the oil prospecting license (OPL) 245 until July 5, 2017.

Justice John Tsoho deferred hearing of the lawsuit following the inability of the plaintiffs to serve court processes on Shell, one of the major defendants in the suit.

Read Also: Malabu Oil Suit Put Off Till July

Malabu Oil: Court Vacates Forfeiture Order On OPL 245

Malabu Oil: Court Vacates Forfieture Order A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has set aside its orders made on
January 26, 2017 for a temporary forfeiture of Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 245, to the Federal Government pending the conclusion of investigations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Ruling on an application filed by the EFCC, Justice John Tsoho, upheld the application filed by Nigerian Agip Oil Exploration and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited, challenging the order of forfeiture.

Justice Tsoho held that the orders for forfeiture was initially made, based on the ex-parte application filed by the EFCC which was irregularly filed.

The judge also dismissed an application filed by Malabu Oil and Gas Limited seeking to, among others, stay the earlier reserved ruling on the applications by Agip and Shell.

Malabu oil and Gas Limited had sought to stay the delivery of the ruling to enable it be involved in the case, because it would be affected by the court’s decision in the applications by Agip and Shell.

Justice Tsoho further ruled that the application by Malabu was misdirected and constituted an abuse of court’s process.

He, therefore directed parties who have issues with the Malabu deal – OPL 245, to file fresh cases to ventilate their grievances.

Malabu Oil: Ruling On Shell, AGIP Applications Stalled

malabuThe Ruling on two separate applications filed by Shell Oil exploration Nigeria LTD and Agip Oil seeking to vary an order made by the Federal High Court in Abuja, on January 26, 2017, which granted temporary forfeiture of the oil prospective license 245 bloc to the Federal Government has been stalled.

The ruling could not go on because of the three fresh applications filed by Malabu Oil, principally seeking to be joined in the suit as well, as a party in the already heard applications filed by Shell and Agip.

Counsel to Malabu Oil, Mr. Abdullahi Haruna told Justice John Tsoho that, the joinder application was aimed at delaying the ruling in the application filed by the two oil giant, so Malabu Oil can become one of the plaintiff in the suit.

However, the application was objected by lawyers to Agip and Shell because it is frivolous and a waste of the courts time.

Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Johnson Ojogbane, did not file any application but rather left the issue at the court’s discretion.

Nevertheless, after taking submissions from counsel, Justice John Tsoho adjourned the ruling on Malabu’s application to March 17, 2017.

Malabu Oil: Court Adjourns Ruling On Order Of Forfeiture Till March 13

Malabu Oil: Court Adjourns Ruling On Order Of Forfeiture Till March 13The Federal High Court in Abuja has reserved ruling until March 13, to decide on two separate applications filed by Shell Oil Exploration Limited and Agip Oil Exploration, seeking to set aside an order of forfeiture granted the EFCC in respect of oil prospecting license (245).

Justice John Tsoho was urged by the two oil companies to set aside the order he granted the EFCC on January 26, 2017 on the grounds that the EFCC chairman who is the applicant in the exparte motion, was not the proper person to file it.

Counsel to the Shell Petroleum, Professor Kayinshola Ajayi, told the court that the EFCC chairman was wrong in bringing the exparte motion that led to the order of forfeiture in his capacity as the chairman.

The counsel submitted that three conditions which ought to have been met by the EFCC before bringing the exparte motion, were not met and as such the order of forfeiture granted was null and void.

Specifically, he said the EFCC ought to have in accordance with laid down laws, arrest, trace and then apply for order of attachment before seeking for an order of forfeiture.

He said that the EFCC had abused the court by not following the conditions precedent and that the case of the EFCC is patently hopeless.

He added that section 28 of the EFCC act does not permit the EFCC chairman to bring the experte application in his capacity as chairman .

According to Ajayi, the application, having been brought by an incompetent person, cannot invoke the jurisdiction of the court.

He added that section 115 of the evidence act was violently violated, because the EFCC in its supporting affidavit, claimed that it had completed investigation whereas, the order of attachment can only be applied for pending investigation.

On the claim by the EFCC that the order of attachment was a fall out of the 9 count charge filed against the two oil companies and others, Professor Ajayi said there was nothing to show that the charges have anything to do with the oil prospecting license (245) and as such, the claim did not hold water.

However, opposing the application, the EFCC counsel, Mr Johnson Ojogbane, asked the court to dismiss the two applications, on the ground that there was no proper suit before the court.

He added that the exparte application was brought by the EFCC chairman in line with section 44 of the 1999 constitution and as such, he is a competent person to bring the said application on behalf of the commission.

Mr Ojogbane said that it would be a disservice to the Federal Government and to Nigerians to vacate the temporary order in respect of Licence (245) because of the element of criminality involved.