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‘Former AGF Adoke on the run,’ reason we can’t arraign him – EFCC



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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has explained that it has not arraigned a former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, for abusing his office because he absconded.

According to the Commission, a prima facie case has been established against Adoke, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, ex-petroleum minister, Dan Etete and others for their roles in the implementation of the settlement and resolution of agreements on Oil Prospecting Licence 245 and 214 between Malabu oil and Gas Ltd, belonging to Etete and the Federal Government in 2010.

The EFCC also said it was not true that Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja, in a 2017 civil suit marked FHC/ABJ/94/446/2017, absolved Adoke of liability for his roles in the OPL 245 deal because he acted on the directives of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The anti-graft agency stated this in a statement in Abuja on Thursday, by its acting spokesman, Tony Orilade, while reacting to a publication in a national newspaper.

According to the Commission, logic was stood on its head in the said publication, adding that “given that Justice Nyako spelt out in no unclear terms that the reliefs Adoke got in the civil suit he brought before her in relation to the extent he can subordinate himself to the directives of the president in the matter of the OPL 245 and OPL214 deal did not make him ineligible to face criminal charges, arising from his actions in the same transaction.”

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The EFCC also explained that former President Olusegun Obasanjo revoked the OPL 245, which the late General Sani Abacha granted to Etete, who was his Petroleum Minister and reassigned it to Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company.

But Etete’s firm, Malabu Oil and Gas, however, reclaimed the oil bloc in 2006 through the court.

The EFCC said: “While Shell challenged the decision, a fraudulent settlement and resolution came under Jonathan’s government with Shell and Eni buying the oil block from Malabu in the sum of $1.1billion.

“Investigations of 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 billon against Malabo oil and Gas Ltd, Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep, Nigeria Agip Exploration and their officials.”

The agency further disclosed that investigations further revealed that Etete and others fraudulently received an aggregate sum of US$ 801,540,000 from SNEPC, NAEL and ENI SPA in relation to the oil prospecting licence.

The Commission also explained that its investigation revealed that Adoke as the AGF abused his office in respect of the granting of the oil prospecting licence OPL 245 to Shell and ENI.

“A prima facie case, bordering on official corruption was established by the Commission following the investigations, culminating in court charges against Adoke, Etete and others, which is still pending before the FCT High Court and the Federal High Court.

“Arraignment of Adoke, Etete and others could not take place because they along with other defendants have remained at large, refusing to make themselves available for trial.”

The EFCC further noted that the judgement being brandished by Adoke was of no relevance to his prosecution for criminal charges pending before a Federal Capital Territory High Court.

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