Malabu oil scam: Court Orders Detention Of Former AGF Adoke For Another 14 Days
The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Maitama, Abuja, on Thursday, granted permission to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to further detain the immediate-past Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), for another 14 days.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Head, Media & Publicity of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, on Thursday.
Justice Othman Musa, who had earlier on December 20, 2019, granted the commission’s request to detain the ex-AGF for initial 14 days pending investigations, renewed the detention order following a fresh ex parte application by the EFCC on Thursday.
The first 14 days lapsed on Thursday.
Uwujaren stated that following a fresh application by the commission, the judge on Thursday granted permission to the anti-corruption agency to further keep the suspect in custody for additional 14 days preparatory for his arraignment on charges relating to the Malabu Oil scam.
The statement quoted the judge as saying 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.”
Adoke, who is being investigated over his role in the $1.1bn Malabu oil scam, left the country shortly after his tenure ended in 2015.
In his absence, he was charged alongside others with various offences in connection with the scam.
He returned to the country ending his over four years of self-exile on December 19, 2019.
He was immediately arrested on arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport in Abuja by operatives of the International Police Organisation and handed over to the EFCC.
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.
Head, Media & Publicity
2 January, 2020