A former attorney general of the federation (AGF) and minister of justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), has offered three reasons why he thinks Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo is behind his travails
Adoke stated this much and more in his book entitled, ‘Burden of Service: Reminiscences of Nigeria’s former Attorney-General’ which was launched on Friday.
While revealing the three possible reasons, Adegoke said that Osinbajo’s “bizarre role” in what he calls his persecution, remains incomprehensible.
“First, it was possible some persons who were fighting me gained his confidence and persuaded him that, indeed, I was floating on a sea of stolen loot that needed to be recovered.
“It could, as a matter of fact, be a well-meaning and altruistic fight against corruption based on the purest of intentions on the VP’s part,” he says.
Adoke while revealing the second reason said that he has been told that Osinbajo, in an effort to impress President Muhammadu Buhari, has informed him that the signature bonus paid on OPL 245 is too meagre.
He also claimed that it is the Vice-President’s opinion that if the transaction is to be reviewed, he can get the beneficiaries of the block, Shell and Eni, to pay up to $500m as signature bonus.
“To achieve this objective, all efforts were made to malign the Settlement Agreement of 2011 with allegations of corruption,” he added.
While providing the third possible reason he thinks Osinbajo is behind his travails in the book, Adoke made reference to an interview he granted a national newspaper in 2016.
According to him, he made reference to the Halliburton case in which the government retained the services of Nigerian lawyers to prosecute foreign companies that allegedly bribed Nigerian officials in respect of the NLNG project.
“In that interview, I mentioned the names of the lawyers who got paid by Pfizer to include Chief J.B. Daudu, Prof. Osinbajo, and a host of other Nigerian lawyers, including Mrs Mariam Uwais, now a special assistant to the President on Social Investment Programme in the Office of the Vice-President.
“Their fees, I had pointed out, were paid to them by Pfizer through Mr Tunde Irukera, an associate of Osinbajo. Irukera is now the Director-General of the Consumer Protection Council.
“I was told that Osinbajo was very bitter that I mentioned his name. He didn’t fancy being portrayed as having benefited from certain transactions as he sought to maintain a clean public image. It appeared I had inadvertently blown open that holy lid. That could possibly account for his hate and contempt for me,” he writes.
He adds, “This consideration, however, remains speculative. I have not been able to confirm it. If that be the true position, then the VP was possibly trying to get his pound of flesh by supporting those aggrieved by the Malabu transactions to come after me, using the EFCC over which he has enormous control”.