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Adoke’s arraignment stalled as EFCC fails to serve charges

Adoke’s arraignment stalled as EFCC fails to serve charges
January 22
17:15 2020
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The arraignment of Mohammed Adoke, former attorney-general of the federation, was stalled at a federal capital territory high court in Gwagwalada over the failure of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to serve charges.

The federal government had filed a fresh 42-count charge against Adoke and six others over alleged fraud in the $1.1 billion Malabu oil deal.

Adoke was charged alongside Rasky Gbinigie, A. Abubakar, Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, Shell Ultra Deep Limited and Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Limited.

The federal government, in a document with charge number CR/151/2020, dated January 14 and filed on January 15 at the high court of the federal capital territory, accused Adoke and others of receiving gratification to allegedly carry out a fraudulent oil deal.

According to the federal government, as attorney-general, Adoke mediated controversial agreements that ceded OPL 245 to Shell and Eni, who in turn paid about $1.1 billion to accounts controlled by Dan Etete, former minister of petroleum resources in the regime of late Sani Abacha.

Adoke, who left the country after the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, had voluntarily returned on Decemebr 19, 2019, from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and was arrested by the operatives of the EFCC at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

He is being charged by the anti-graft agency for alleged abuse of office and money laundering in respect of the granting of the Oil Prospecting License 245 to Shell and ENI.

According to the charge, the former AGF in August 2013 in Abuja while serving as minister knowingly received US dollars equivalent of N300 million, which is reasonably suspected of having been unlawfully obtained and thereby committed offence punishable under Section 319 A of the Penal Code, Cap. 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990.

According to the charge, the accused persons committed an offence contrary to section 366 of the penal code and punishable under the same section of the penal code.

In count seven, Adoke was said to have in September 2013 knowingly and unlawfully obtained the sum of US dollars equivalent to N367,318,800 and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 319A of the Penal Code, Cap. 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990.

In the charge, Gbinigie, the company secretary of Malabu Oil, was said to have made a false resignation letter signed by one Alhaji Hassan Hindu as having resigned from the Board of Malabu Oil and Gas Limited with intent to commit fraud.

Adoke has maintained innocence, accusing the EFCC of witch-hunt.

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