Adoke’s Alleged Money Laundering Trial Suffers Setback

A file photo of former AGF, Mr Mohammed Adoke. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The trial of a former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Mohammed Adoke, over money laundering allegations has suffered a setback.

Adoke and one other, Aliyu Abubakar, are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on charges bordering on money laundering.

The duo were charged with 14 amended counts at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, presided over by Justice Inyang Ekwo.

In a statement on Monday, the EFCC Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, explained that the trial could not go on because the former minister was absent in court.

Counsel to the defendant, Kanu Agabi, informed Justice Ekwo that his client could not make it to the court as he was held back in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

He revealed that the former minister was on the verge of returning to Nigeria when he tested positive for COVID-19 and was held back in Dubai.

Agabi, however, disclosed that his client had since tested negative for the virus after treatment but could not fly back to the country in time for the hearing.

He pleaded with the court for an extension of the time given to the defendant to take care of himself and be fit for trial.

On his part, the prosecution counsel, Bala Sanga, did not object to the request of the defence lawyer.

In his ruling, Justice Ekwo adjourned proceedings in the trial until March 1 to 4.

At the last adjourned date on December 15, 2020, the court had granted Adoke permission to travel to Dubai on health grounds but was expected to return for the hearing fixed for January 11, 2021.

However, when the case was called, the defendant was absent.

Alleged Money Laundering: Court Grants Former AGF Adoke Permission To Travel For Medical Treatment

Former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke

 

A Federal High Court in Abuja has granted permission to a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke to travel for a medical check-up at the United Arab Emirate, where he was in exile for about five years.

Ruling on Adoke’s application for permission to travel to the UAE, the trial Judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo on Thursday ordered the release of his passport to enable him to travel to UAE on health grounds from December 15 and return on or before January 10, 2021.

READ ALSO: Zulum Seeks UN Support On Return Of Nigerian Refugees In Neighbouring Countries

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Adoke on 14-count charges bordering on money laundering to the tune of $6million.

Adoke who is standing trial alongside a businessman, Aliyu Abubakar, is scheduled to return to the court on January 11 for the continuation of his trial.

The former AGF who fled the country had returned and was immediately arrested by the EFCC upon arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on December 19, 2019.

He has since been facing multiple charges, including money laundering, before various courts which had ordered the seizure of his passport as a bail condition.

Adoke was accused of among others, receiving the dollar equivalent of N300 million from Abubakar, paying the dollar equivalent of N367,318,800 to one Usman Mohammed Bello, and allegedly using the sum of N300 million, which was alleged to be part of the proceeds of unlawful activities, all in violations of various provisions of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011.

The former AGF was also accused of making “structured cash payments, in 22 tranches” amounting to N80 million, another of such structured payments in 13 tranches summing up to N50 million into his Unity Bank account.

Nigerian Govt Files Fresh Charges Against Ex-AGF, Adoke

A file photo former AGF, Mr Mohammed Adoke. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

 

The Federal Government has filed fresh charges against a former Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke.

Adoke was arraigned on Monday before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He is being charged along with his co-defendant, Aliyu Abubakar, on six counts bordering on money laundering and criminal diversion of funds in the Malabo oil deal.

They were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

This comes four days after Adoke’s lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mike Ozekhome, accused the anti-graft agency of holding his client in custody after he had been granted bail.

The former AGF was first arraigned over his alleged involvement in the Malabu oil scandal before the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court upon his return to the country from Dubai.

He was later granted bail while Ozekhome said they had met the conditions imposed by the court since January.

The senior lawyer accused the EFCC of holding Adoke “in permanent custody,” adding “This has further jeopardised his very poor and fragile health.”

“From the foregoing, it is crystal clear to any discerning observer that our client is no more being prosecuted, but is being persecuted, by the EFCC, which has, by this singular act, now constituted itself into an institution that acts above courts of law,” Ozekhome alleged in a statement issued on Thursday last week.

EFCC Is ‘Persecuting’ Adoke, Keeping Him In ‘Horrific Detention’ – Ozekhome

A file photo former AGF, Mr Mohammed Adoke. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

 

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mike Ozekhome, has condemned the continued detention of a former Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke.

He also took a swipe at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for failing to release his client – Adoke – after the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court granted him bail.

“It is disheartening that despite meeting the bail conditions imposed by the court, since the 30th of January 2020, the EFCC is still holding our client in permanent custody, till date,” the SAN said in a statement forwarded to Channels Television on Thursday.

He added, “This has further jeopardised his very poor and fragile health. The court had actually taken Adoke’s ill health into consideration in making the order for his release, with certain bail conditions.”

“From the foregoing, it is crystal clear to any discerning observer that our client is no more being prosecuted, but is being persecuted, by the EFCC, which has, by this singular act, now constituted itself into an institution that acts above courts of law.

“It now deploys unbridled powers to choose and/or decide (as in this particular case), whether or not to obey valid and extant orders made by courts of competent jurisdiction,” Ozekhome alleged.

According to him, such a situation is unhealthy for the nation’s democracy and constitutes an unnecessary invitation to chaos and anarchy.

 

Horrific Detention?

Adoke’s lawyer insisted that his client has fulfilled the conditions for his bail and upon presenting the release order, he claimed that the EFCC came up with another round of stories.

“It was either that one official or the other, was not available to authorise the release and, so Adoke continues to languish in illegal detention. As of today, 6th February 2020 (and still counting), over seven clear days after the court granted Adoke bail, the EFCC continues to detain him.

“Notwithstanding our client’s fulfilment of his bail conditions, he has been kept by the Respondent in horrific detention, in blatant defiance of the court’s clear and mandatory order for his release on bail,” Ozekhome decried.

He stressed that Adoke’s health condition was fast deteriorating on a daily basis, adding that the former AGF now has typhoid and malaria among other illnesses while his sight was gradually failing him.

The SAN alleged that this has forced the EFCC to hurriedly transfer Adoke to the Federal Medical Centre, Abuja.

He, however, urged the anti-graft agency to respect a valid court order by releasing his client and asked the Federal Government to build strong and enduring institutions.

Bail Application: Adoke, Two Others To Know Fate On Thursday

 

An Abuja High Court has fixed Thursday, January 30 for ruling on the bail application of the former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, and two others.

The accused had earlier on Thursday pleaded not guilty to 42 counts of fraud and money laundering.

READ ALSO: Adoke Arraigned On 42 Counts Of Fraud, Money Laundering

The charges were filed against the former minister for the role he allegedly played in the controversial Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 245, otherwise known as Malabu oil scam.

Also listed as defendants are Malabu oil and gas limited, Nigeria Agip exploration limited, Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited and Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company Limited.

The defendants were arraigned before Justice Abubakar Kutigi who, after listening to the arguments, adjourned the hearing till today and ordered the defendants to be remanded in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Adoke Arraigned On 42 Counts Of Fraud, Money Laundering

 

The Federal Government on Thursday arraigned the immediate past Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke on 42 counts of fraud and money laundering.

Adoke was arraigned at Gwagwalada Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja alongside six others.

They, however, pleaded not guilty to the 42 counts of fraud and money laundering.

READ ALSO: Adoke In Court For Arraignment

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had earlier filed 12 counts against Mr Adoke, Aliyu Abubakar, Rasky Gbinigie, as well as Malabu Oil and Gas Limited before a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja.

File photo of Adoke in court on Wednesday, January 22, 2020.

 

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 had also filed seven counts before a Federal High Court against Mr Adoke and Mr Abubakar.

The charges were filed against the former minister for the role he allegedly played in the controversial Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 245, otherwise known as Malabu oil scam.

 

PHOTOS: Adoke In Court For Arraignment

PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

The immediate past Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke on Wednesday arrived the Gwagwalada Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, for his arraignment.

However, when the case was called, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) lead prosecuting, Bala Sanga, told the court that the commission had only served the charges on the fifth to the seventh defendants – Nigeria Agip Exploration, Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited, and Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company Limited.

He said the commission had not served the second defendant, Aliyu Abubakar, because he was on the run and was only arrested Wednesday morning.

Justice Kutigi adjourned the hearing till Thursday by 2:00 pm.

The EFCC had earlier 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 charges were filed against the former minister for the role he allegedly played in the controversial Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 245, otherwise known as Malabu oil scam.

 

See photos from the court premises below:

 

 

 

 

 

Malabu Oil Deal: EFCC To Arraign Adoke, Six Others Today

(FILE) Mohammed Adoke

 

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

The anti-graft agency had filed 12 counts against Mr Adoke, Aliyu Abubakar, Rasky Gbinigie, as well as Malabu Oil and Gas Limited before a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja.

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 had also filed seven counts before a Federal High Court against Mr Adoke and Mr Abubakar.

The charges were filed against the former minister for the role he allegedly played in the controversial Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 245, otherwise known as Malabu oil scam.

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

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.

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 Okays Detention Of Former AGF Adoke For Another 14 Days

A former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke, returns to Nigeria aboard Emirates Airlines Flight 785 on Thursday. Photo: Twitter- @officialEFCC

 

The Federal Capital Territory High Court has granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) permission to detain the former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), for another 14 days.

Justice Othman Musa on December 20, granted the EFCC an initial 14 days to detain Mr Adoke to complete investigation, which elapsed on Thursday.

Mr Adoke was handed over to the EFCC by International Police Organisation (INTERPOL) upon arrival from Dubai, the United Arab Emirates on December 19 and taken into custody for his alleged involvement in the granting of the Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 245 to Shell and ENI.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest Another Abuja Bank Robbery Suspect

According to a statement by the Head, Media & Publicity of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, the fresh application was granted by Justice Musa in preparatory to Adoke’s arraignment.

Justice Musa, while granting the application, stated that “the extension of the remand of the respondent for another 14 days for the purpose of his arraignment in court is necessary and granted as prayed.”

The former AGF who has been away from the country stalled the trial forcing the anti-graft agency to obtain an arrest warrant against them on April 17, 2019.

Read full statement below:

EFCC Press Release

Court Gives EFCC Nod to Detain Adoke for Additional 14 Days

Justice A.O. Musa of Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, January 2, 2020, granted the application of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to keep the former attorney general and minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke in its custody for additional 14 days preparatory to his arraignment.

In granting the application, the judge stated that “the extension of the remand of the respondent for another 14 days for the purpose of his arraignment in court is necessary and granted as prayed.”

The Commission took custody of Adoke on December 19, 2019, upon his arrival from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Adoke who fled the country in 2015, has pending criminal charge of alleged abuse of office and money laundering in respect of the granting of the Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 245 to Shell and ENI.

It would be recalled that the government of former President Olusegun Obasanjo revoked the OPL 245, which the late General Sani Abacha granted Dan Etete, his then Petroleum Minister, and reassigned it to Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, SNEPCO.

Etete’s Malabu Oil and Gas, however, reclaimed the oil block in 2006 through the court. While Shell challenged the decision, a ‘fraudulent settlement and resolution’ was consummated under President Goodluck Jonathan’s government, with Shell and ENI buying the oil block from Malabu in the sum of $1.1billion.

Investigations by the EFCC into the deal revealed crimes that border on conspiracy, forgery of bank documents, bribery, corruption and money laundering to the tune of over $1.2 billion against  Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep (SNUD), Nigeria Agip Exploration (NAE) and their officials, culminating in criminal charges against Adoke, Etete, and others, which are pending in both the FCT High Court and the Federal High Court, Abuja

The absence of the defendants slowed the prosecution of the suspects, forcing the EFCC to obtain an arrest warrant against them on April 17, 2019.

Adoke, however, arrived the country on Thursday, December 19, 2019, from Dubai, United Arab Emirates into the waiting arms of EFCC operatives at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

His return has now cleared the way for him to answer to the charges against him.

Justice Musa adjourned the case to enable its assignment by the Chief Judge.

Wilson Uwujaren

Head, Media & Publicity

2 January, 2020

Adoke’s Bail Application Suffers Setback As Judge Returns Case File

 

The bail application filed by a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke on Tuesday suffered a setback as the vacation judge, Justice Othman Musa returned the case file to the Chief Judge of the FCT for reassignment.

Justice Musa returned the case file following an application for bail by the counsel representing the former AGF.

He applied for an adjournment to enable him respond to the counter affidavit filed by the EFCC challenging the application.

In a short ruling on the propriety of granting the adjournment, Justice Musa explained  that the vacation period of the court ends on the 3rd of January and in view of that, he is returning the case file to the Chief Judge of the FCT.

The EFCC had filed criminal charges against Mr Adoke over his role in the Malabu Oil scandal before Justice Danlami Senchi also of the FCT High Court sitting at Jabi.

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.