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Alleged forgery: IGP sends case file on Lanre Suraju to AGF

Alleged forgery: IGP sends case file on Lanre Suraju to AGF
September 23
12:13 2021

Alkali Usman, the inspector-general of police, has forwarded the duplicate case file on the investigation of Olanrewaju Suraju to the attorney-general of the federation (AGF) for “possible prosecution”, TheCable understands.

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Mohammed Bello Adoke, former AGF, had lodged a complaint on the circulation of a forged email and stage-managed phone conversation which he said were intended to implicate him in the OPL 245 trial in Italy.

The police said it traced the circulation of the materials to Suraju, chairman of HEDA Resource Centre, an anti-corruption NGO.

In a letter dated September 20, 2021 and addressed to the AGF, Ibrahim Musa, head of IGP monitoring team, said he was directed to forward the duplicate file for “vetting, advice and possible prosecution”.

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Suraju is accused of criminal conspiracy, defamation and cyberstalking but he has denied the allegations.

Police accused him of using the social media handles of his organisation to spread falsehood against Adoke.

WHAT WAS THE ACCUSATION?

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Earlier this month, the police force had indicted Suraju of falsehood in the probe of the allegations.

HEDA had alleged that Adoke had communicated with JP Morgan in June 2011 over an OPL 245 transaction between Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd, Shell and Eni.

Adoke was accused of using the email address of a company owned by Aliyu Abubakar, who was on trial in Italy over the OPL 245 affair.

The email was intended to support the claim that there was corruption in the deal, that Adoke — who was not on trial in Italy — and Abubakar “worked together” to fleece Nigeria in the deal.

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However, the former AGF denied the accusation, explaining that he was no longer minister as of the date the mail was sent and had no reason to use another person’s email address.

He also refuted claims that he had a phone conversation with an Italian journalist in 2017 where he was said to have acknowledged that the OPL 245 deal was a scam.

Adoke said the phone conversation was state-managed, adding that he was on self-exile at the time and had stopped using a Nigerian line since June 2015.

He requested for an investigation of the allegations against him to be carried out by the IGP.

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However, Suraju told TheCable that the police report is “fake”, adding that the monitoring team is still conducting its investigation.

Meanwhile, the Italian court has dismissed allegations of corruption in the OPL 245 deal while the prosecutors are being investigated over allegations of falsification and manipulation of evidence.

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