An Abuja High Court presided over by Justice Danlami Senchi, has fixed June 8, 2017 for the commencement of criminal trial against Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company Limited and others.
The others involved include: Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, ENI SPA, former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dan Etete and former Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Mohammed Adoke.
Also joined in the case filed by the Federal Government are: Aliyu Abubakar, Ralph Wetzels, Casula Roberto, Pujatti Stefeno, Burrafato Sebastiano and Malabu Oil and Gas Limited.
In the three-count charge preferred against the 11 defendants, Shell Petroleum Nigeria Exploration Production Company Limited, Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, ENI SPA and some directors of the oil companies were accused of giving out $801 million for the illegal acquisition of Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd.
The Federal Government also accused Mr Etete, Mr Adoke and others of illegally receiving the sum of $801 million to grant Oil Prospecting Licence 245 to Malabu Oil and Gas Limited.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed a nine-count charge against a former Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke, a former Minister of Petroleum, Mr Dan Etete and seven others for alleged mismanagement of multi-million dollar revenue from the sale of oil bloc to Malabu Oil and Gas Limited.
The others are a businessman, Aliyu Abubakar, Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, Rocky Top Resources Limited, Imperial Union Limited, Novel Properties and Development Company Limited, Group Construction Limited and Megatech Engineering Limited.
Court papers filed by prosecutors say the accused persons transferred $801.540 million from the Federal Government escrow account.
The charges are filed two months after the House of Representatives investigated alleged shady deals in the award of oil blocs involving Malabu Oil and Gas Limited.
According to the court papers, Mr Dan Etete is alleged to have at different times transferred an aggregate sum of $801.540 million into the account of Malabu Oil and Gas in a commercial bank in Nigeria.
A second accused person, Aliyu Abubakar and his company Rocky Top Limited are alleged to have transferred $478.603 to Imperial Union Limited, Novel Properties and Development Limited, Group Construction Limited and Mega Tech Engineering Limited as payment for services rendered when he ought to have known that the money was proceeds of an unlawful act between Mr Etete and Malabu Oil and Gas Limited.
The former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation in one of the nine charges is alleged to have aided Mr Etete and Malabu Oil and Gas Limited to commit the offence of money laundering by facilitating $801.540 transferred to Mr Etete and Malabu Oil and Gas Limited from the Federal Government escrow account.
The charge, which was filed on December 20 is yet to be assigned to a judge.
The House of Representatives has received a petition alleging corruption against the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Mr Danladi Umar.
The CCT Chairman is alleged to have been involved in the misappropriation of funds amounting to millions of Naira, including fictitious contract for the supply of office furniture and fittings in the sum of 11.4 million Naira.
Presenting the petition on behalf of a civil society organisation, Anti-corruption Network, the Chairman, House Committee on Army, Representative Shawulu Kwewum, alleged that Mr Umar was to be arrested based on the recommendation of the former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Mohammed Adoke.
According to him, Mr Sdoke had recommended that two persons be arrested and investigated for alleged corruption, but while one Ali Abdullahi was arrested and prosecuted the other person, who is the current chairman of the CCT, was not.
Mr Kwelum insisted that the CCT Chairman be made to face the law in compliance with the recommendations of the former Attorney-General of the Federation.
The Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, later directed that the petition be laid before the House, while the Committee on Public Petition should take charge of the matter.
The CCT headed by Mr Umar is trying the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, for alleged false declaration of assets during his tenure as Governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011 has been adjourned till the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of October, 2015.
The Federal Government has instituted two appeals before the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal against the orders of the Federal High Court barring security agencies in the country from arresting and commencing extradition proceedings against Senator Buruji Kashamu.
Two judges of the Federal High Court, Justice Okon Abang and Justice Ibrahim Buba had in separate rulings nullified the provisional warrant of arrest obtained by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) against the Senator representing Ogun-East.
The judges had also restrained the NDLEA from arresting and arraigning Kashamu in furtherance of moves to extradite him to the United States of America to face drug related offences.
In one of the appeals, the Federal Government argued that the court cannot fetter the hands of security or prosecuting agencies in the lawful discharge of their functions.
In the second appeal, the government submitted that from a careful scrutiny of the case, it was clear that the lower courts aided Kashamu to abuse the processes of the court.
The Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF in the appeal, also insisted that the English Courts, have not exonerated Senator Kashamu on drug related charges but only ruled on his extradition proceedings.
Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Emeka Ngige, who represented the Federal Government in the matter has therefore asked the Federal High Court to stay further proceedings in the matter pending the hearing and determination of the appeals.
Counsel to Senator Buruji Kashamu, Ajibola Oluyede, has however described the application as an ambush on the contempt proceedings against the AGF and the NDLEA
In a brief ruling, Justice Buba adjourned further hearing of the matter till June 23 to enable the lawyers produce before him copies of the appeal and all other documents in the matter.
Six whole days of house arrest, that’s what the NDLEA enforced but now they have withdrawn from the residence of Ogun State Senator-elect, Buruji Kashamu.
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) had laid siege, claiming that Mr Kashamu was wanted in the United States on alleged drug offences.
The agency insists it has an extradition request from the US but this was not tendered in court as the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Wednesday declared as illegal, the arrest and planned extradition of the Senator-elect in relation to the allegations from which he had been exonerated by two British Courts.
The NDLEA, at the time, denied receiving any court order, insisting that it would continue to maintain presence. This led to Mr Kashamu’s lawyer accusing the agency of flouting the court order.
Kashamu’s lawyer, in a Thursday morning interview on Channels Television, said that the agency’s operatives were still at Mr Kashamu’s residence in defiance of the court order.
According to him, there were “close to 12 to 15 armed men” in Mr Kashamu’s residence and he has been locked up in his bathroom since Saturday, a situation that meant he had to speak with his client through the door.
He also revealed that Kashamu had been complaining of health challenges due to this situation he had been.
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, on Wednesday restrained security agencies from unlawfully arresting and extraditing Mr Buruji Kashamu to the United States, to stand trial on drug-trafficking offences.
Justice Okon Abang, who presided over the case, declared as illegal, the arrest and planned extradition of the Senator-elect for Ogun East Senatorial District, in relation to drug-trafficking allegations from which he had been exonerated by two British Courts.
Justice Abang granted Mr Kashamu’s request that having earlier obtained a judgment in Nigeria in January 2014, barring his arrest and extradition and the judgment having not been set aside, he could not be arrested and extradited.
A Federal High Court in Lagos had on Tuesday, ordered the NDLEA operatives to immediately vacate Mr Kashamu’s Lagos residence.
The NDLEA denied receiving any court order, insisting that it would continue to maintain presence.
The Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Mohammed Adoke on Saturday, said that the arrest of the Senator-elect was not an extra-judicial action, explaining that a formal request had been made by the American Government, seeking his extradition and that same had been passed to the appropriate legal body.
Justice Abang then awarded a penalty of 20,000 Naira against the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), National Security Adviser to the President, and the Nigeria Security And Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke, has directed the Chief Justice of Bayelsa State to swear-in the Governor-elect of Rivers State, Mr Nyesom Wike on May 29, 2015.
This is as a result of the existing vacuum in the office of the Chief Judge of Rivers State as well as the President of the Customary Court of Appeal in Rivers State.
According to a press release signed by the Attorney-General, the directive has become imperative in order to avert a likely constitutional crisis in Rivers State on May 29, when the Governor-elect, is expected to be sworn as Governor of Rivers State.
He added that his directive is in accordance with section 185(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, which provides that “The Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of Office shall be administered by the Chief Judge of the State or Grand Khadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the State, if any, or President of the Customary Court of Appeal of the State, if any, or the person for the time being respectively appointed to exercise the functions of any of those offices in any State.”
He urged the Government and People of Rivers State to take note of this development and appreciate the fact that the invitation extended to the Chief Judge of Bayelsa State to administer the Oath of Allegiance and Oath of Office on the Governor-elect of Rivers State on May 29, 2015 is in accordance with the Constitution and should therefore be respected by all and sundry.
The Nigerian President and the members of the National Security Council have agreed to extend the state of emergency imposed on three north eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
They agreed on Monday to extend the emergency rule by another six months.
After a meeting of the council held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja and presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke, told reporters that the President would soon forward a request for the extension to the National Assembly for approval.
The meeting considered the frequent bombings and attacks carried out by the Boko Haram members in the three north eastern states.
The council members agreed that peace was far from being achieved and reckoned that extending the emergency rule in the states may just be a way to go.
“We just reviewed the issue of the state of emergency and the government would be requesting the National Assembly to extend the emergency rule,” Adoke stated.
If approved by the National Assembly, it would be the third time that the emergency rule would be extended. The renewal of the state of emergency is done after every six months. The last tranche approved in May expired on Sunday.
On May 14 2013, President Jonathan declared emergency rule in three north-east states, giving sweeping powers to the security forces against the insurgents.
The two chambers of the National Assembly granted the president’s request for the third extension on May 20.
The Constitution is silent on the number of times the president can extend the six-month emergency rule in a state or any part of the federation.
The insurgency in the north-east that has continued despite an announcement of a ceasefire agreement by the Nigerian government is believed to have called for the extension of the emergency rule.
President Goodluck Jonathan will leave Abuja on Wednesday to attend the 22nd Summit of African Union Heads of State and Government, which begins in Addis Ababa on Thursday.
The African Union has declared 2014 as ‘The Year of Agriculture and Food Security in Africa’ and the 22nd summit of African Union Heads of State and Government will have “Transforming Africa’s Agriculture: Harnessing Opportunities for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development” as its theme.
According to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Reuben Abati, President Jonathan and other participating Heads of State and Government will formally launch the ‘Year of Agriculture and Food Security in Africa’ which coincides with the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme.
They will also consider and adopt the reports of high-level committees on the Assessment of the African Standby Force and the Operationalization of the African Capacity for Immediate response to Crises, as well as the reports of other high-level committees on United Nations Reforms, the post-2015 Development Agenda, African Trade and Climate Change.
President Jonathan will be accompanied to the summit by Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, the Supervising Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof. Viola Onwuliri, the Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, the Minister of Health, Dr. Onyebuchi Chukwu and the Supervising Minister of Environment, Mr. Darius Ishaku.
He will return to Abuja at the conclusion of the summit on Friday.
The Federal Government has announced that 11 Boko Haram insurgents have been convicted in the last one year.
The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Adoke said this at the 12th session of the Assembly of State Parties, World Forum Theatre, The Hague.
He said that the Federal Government was working on a compensation and rehabilitation scheme for victims of Boko Haram attacks in line with the recommendation of the presidential committee, which recently submitted its report.
Mr. Adoke added that the preliminary findings by the prosecutor and the president of the International Criminal Court had galvanized support for the government’s efforts to address security challenges associated with Boko Haram.
Attacks by the Boko Haram sect have been most devastating in Northern Nigeria with the State of Emergency recently extended in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States.
President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the immediate retirement of Justice Charles Archibong, following the recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC).
The NJC on Thursday February 21st, recommended to President Goodluck Jonathan the compulsory retirement of Justice Archibong of the Federal High court Lagos and Justice Thomas Naron of the High Court of Justice Plateau State.
Speaking to state house correspondents, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke said that the fight against corruption can only get a firm root when the entire judicial system is cleansed.
Justice Archibong was recommended for compulsory retirement pursuant to the ‘findings” by the council on the following complaints levelled against him:
• that the judge dismissed the grievous charges against an accused without taking his plea;
• that he refused to release the certified true copy of his ruling to the lawyers;
• that the judge issued a bench warrant on some officials of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for contempt even when the counsel who was directed by the court to serve them filed an affidavit that he had not been able to serve the contempt application;
• that he made unfounded and caustic remarks on professional competence of some Senior Advocates of Nigeria;
• that there were glaring procedural irregularities which showed that he did not have a full grasp of the law and procedure of the court; and
• that he granted the leave sought for in the originating summons that had no written address of the parties and without hearing both parties in the originating summons after he had earlier overruled the preliminary objection.
The federal government has announced plans to create more jobs for the nation’s unemployed youths as part of measures in tackling insecurity in the country.
The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke, announced this at the opening of a two-day peace and security summit organised by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Abuja, where he promised that the government will continue to pursue genuine reconciliation of all aggrieved persons.
He said the attacks by terrorists are an attack on the core values of the nation which the government is working hard to overcome.
However, a former Head of State, retired General Muhammadu Buhari, who was also at the summit, argued that the nation can do better in managing the security situation than what obtains now.
Also speaking, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mariam Aloma-Mukhtar, noted that peace is attainable when leaders resort to dialogue.
On his part, a former Director-General of the State Security Service (SSS), Albert Horsfall, stressed the need for justice and fair play as a panacea for peace just as the president of the NBA, Okey Wali, expressed optimism that the summit will proffer solutions to the nation’s security challenges.
The summit titled, Comprehensive and Sustainable Peace and Security in a Plural Society, was convened to find ways of ensuring peace in the country.