Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja
The immediate past Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN), may soon be extradited from his new home in Holland as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has filed charges before a Federal High Court in Abuja for his alleged role in the $1.1bn Malabu oil scam.
The Malabu oil scam, which has been under investigation for over four years, relates to the billions of dollars paid by oil giants, Shell and ENI, into a Federal Government account, for OPL 245, considered the richest oil block in Africa.
The money was allegedly diverted by Adoke and paid into private accounts.
The EFCC accused Adoke of illegally transferring over $800m to a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dan Etete, and Etete’s oil firm, Malabu Oil & Gas Limited from a Federal Government account.
The commission also accused oil magnate, Alhaji Abubakar Aliyu, the Chairman of A. A. Group and Rocky Top Services, of receiving $336,456,906.78.
The charge reads, “That you, Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), on or about August 10, 2011 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, aided Dauzia Loya Etete (aka Dan Etete) and Malabu Oil & Gas Limited to commit the offence of money laundering by facilitating the payment of an aggregate sum of $801,540,000 only to Dauzia Loya Etete (aka Dan Etete) and Malabu Oil & Gas through the Federal Government of Nigeria Escrow account with number 41451493, IBAN GB 30CHAS609242411493 with JP Morgan Chase Bank in London, which you reasonably ought to have known represented the proceeds of an unlawful activity to wit: fraud, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended in 2012 and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.”
It was learnt that Adoke, who has been in Holland since last year, would be arraigned in absentia.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria had refused to honour all EFCC invitations, claiming that he was undertaking a degree in Holland.
He claimed his academic programme was about to end and would return in August but refused to return since then.
He subsequently wrote a letter to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, stating that he would not return because he had uncovered a plot by the EFCC and some of his political enemies to disgrace him in Nigeria.
A source at the EFCC said, “We have given Adoke enough time but he refused to honour any invitation; so, we will arraign him in absentia. It is expected that the court will issue a bench warrant on him and we can go ahead to declare him wanted.
“Since we know his location, we will begin extradition proceedings against him and ensure that he is brought back if he continues to remain uncooperative.”
The EFCC also slammed four charges against ex-oil minister, Etete, and Malabu Oil & Gas Limited for allegedly receiving $400m and $401m at separate times in August 2011 from Adoke, adding that Etete knew that the money was stolen.
The commission accused Etete of collecting the monies and paying them into the accounts of Malabu Oil & Gas Limited.
The charges read, “That you, Dauzia Loya Etet (aka Dan Etete), and Malabu Oil & Gas Limited on or about August 24, 2011, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this court, directly or indirectly took control of the sum of $400,000,000, paid from the Federal Government of Nigeria Escrow account No 41451493 IBAN 30CHAS609242411492 with JP Morgan Chase Bank in London, into the account of Malabu Oil & Gas Limited, domiciled in PHB Plc (now Keystone Bank) Account No 1005552028.
“That you (Etete and Malabu Oil & Gas Limited) on or about August 10, 2011, directly or indirectly took control of the sum of $401,000,000, paid from the Federal Government of Nigeria Escrow account No 41451493 IBAN GB 30CHAS609242411493 with JP Morgan Chase Bank in London, into the account of Malabu Oil & Gas Limited domiciled in First Bank of Nigeria Plc Account No 2011828805, when you knew the funds formed part of the proceeds of unlawful activity to wit: fraud, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended in 2012 and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.”
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