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.

Adoke’s Detention: Ozekhome Faults EFCC’s Action, Demands Bail For Ex-AGF

Mr Mike Ozekhome

 

 

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Ozekhome, faulted the latest action of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the prosecution of a former Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Mohammed Adoke.

In a statement personally signed by him on Friday, Ozekhome described the obtaining of a court order by the anti-graft agency to detain his client – Adoke – for two weeks as unnecessary.

He noted that the former AGF had already been charged to court even in absentia, while he was in the Netherlands for a masters’ degree programme.

Ozekhome stressed that his client returned to the country voluntarily, adding that he was surprised that Adoke was arrested by INTERPOL upon his arrival.

“Of what use is his present incarceration meant to achieve? Is it meant to subdue him, punish him, wear him out mentally, physically, spiritually, psychologically, and psychically?” he questioned.

READ ALSO: Court Orders Remand Of Former AGF Adoke For 14 Days

The senior advocate, therefore, called on the EFCC to grant the former AGF administrative bail to treat himself, saying that was why he went to Dubai.

He warned that failure to do so would force them to take legal steps to vacate the ex parte order.

Read Ozekhome’s full statement below:

It is quite surprising, if not distressing, to behold EFCC obtaining a two-week detention order to keep Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) in its custody.

This is a man they had already charged to court since 2017, even in absentia, whilst he was in the Netherlands pursuing his masters’ degree in International law.

This is a man they forwarded his charges to the UAE and Interpol authorities, with a view to preventing them from releasing him, based on the said existing charges.

This step led to a legal stalemate, since the UAE and Interpol authorities would not, and could never have extradited Adoke based on a non-existent warrant of arrest.

This is because the earlier warrant of arrest issued against him in April 2019, had since been vacated by the same Justice D.Z. Senchi that earlier issued it on 25th October,2019 after heated court argument between government lawyers and my humble self.

Adoke, therefore, elected to return to Nigeria voluntarily, purchasing his own ticket by himself and signing as such, accordingly.

I had issued a statement to the effect that Adoke was on his way back to Nigeria and would report to the EFCC with lawyers from my office upon his arrival.

It was, therefore, a matter of great surprise that the Interpol still arrested him upon arrival and handed him over to the EFCC.

Rather than the EFCC immediately arraigning him before a court based on charges already preferred against him even in absentia, it has resorted to obtaining an ex parte order from the FCT High Court to detain him for two weeks.

We don’t want to believe that Adoke will be persecuted rather than prosecuted. The last time I checked, cases are first thoroughly investigated before a suspect is charged to court as has been done in the Adoke matter.

Of what use is his present incarceration meant to achieve? Is it meant to subdue him? Punish him? Wear him out mentally, physically, spiritually, psychologically, and psychically?

Deny him justice? Subject him to public ridicule, derision, odium, and obloquy? Is it meant to negatively put him in the public domain, try him, convict him and sentence him through media trial?

All these will neither help the course of justice, nor promote constitutional democracy with its corollary in-built safety valves of advancing inalienable human rights and liberties as recognised by extant national, sub-regional, regional, and international civil rights instruments.

We humbly appeal to the EFCC to accord Adoke administrative bail to take care of his poor health, the very reason he had gone to Dubai.

In the event that this fails, we shall immediately take legal steps to vacate this ex parte order, with a view to protecting our client’s rights and securing his liberty.

Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN.

Counsel to Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN.

EFCC Detains Adoke Over Malabu Oil Scandal

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 detained a former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke.

Adoke was detained by the anti-graft agency on Thursday after he was handed over to the EFCC by international police organisation, INTERPOL.

He was taken into custody by the EFCC for his alleged involvement in the granting of the Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 245 to Shell and ENI.

This comes shortly after the former AGF returned to the country from Dubai in company with INTERPOL officers aboard Emirates Airlines Flight 785.

The aircraft is said to have departed the Emirati commercial capital at about 8am Nigerian time and touched down at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja after about eight hours later.

Adoke was, thereafter, whisked away to the INTERPOL office in Abuja after which he was transferred to the EFCC office also in the nation’s capital.

 

 

He Has Done Nothing Wrong?

The former AGF is facing charges bordering on alleged abuse of office and money laundering with respect to the granting of the Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 245 to Shell and ENI filed against him and four others by the EFCC on behalf of the Nigerian Government.

The administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo had revoked the OPL 245, which the late General Sani Abacha granted Mr Dan Etete who was his Petroleum Minister, and reassigned it to Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company.

Malabu Oil and Gas was, however, said to have reclaimed the oil block in 2006 through the court while Shell rejected and challenged the decision.

The EFCC claimed that fraudulent settlement and resolution ensued, allowing Shell and Eni to buy the oil block from Malabu in the sum of $1.1billion.

Investigations into the deal, according to the anti-graft agency, revealed crimes that bordered on conspiracy, forgery of bank documents, bribery, corruption and money laundering to the tune of over $1.2 billion.

Following its inability to produce the defendants in court, the anti-graft agency approached a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja on April 17 to secure a warrant of arrest against them.

The court granted the request by the EFCC, leading to Adoke’s arrest by the police in Dubai in November.

But in a statement on Thursday, lawyer to Mr Adoke and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mike Ozekhome, said his client had been released and was already on his way to Nigeria.

Ozekhome insisted that the former AGF was not extradited but was set free by the police in Dubai after he said he wanted to go home and “solve his problems back at home”.

“Adoke is not extradited by the Nigerian government because there is no reason for that … he is innocent of the allegations against him. Adoke has not done anything wrong,” he said.