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EXCLUSIVE: Nigeria drops Adoke’s name from P&ID case in London

EXCLUSIVE: Nigeria drops Adoke’s name from P&ID case in London
March 08
19:01 2023

The name of Mohammed Bello Adoke, former attorney-general of the federation, has been dropped from Nigeria’s statement of case in the P&ID suit before an English and Welsh high court in London, TheCable can report.

Lawyers representing Nigeria had listed Adoke as one of the allegedly corrupt government officials who participated in the failed gas processing agreement.

On January 31, 2017, a tribunal had ruled that Nigeria should pay P&ID $6.6 billion as damages, as well as pre- and post-judgment interest at 7 percent.

The award, which is now in excess of $11 billion, was challenged by Nigeria and a British court, in September 2020, granted the country’s application for an extension of time and relief from sanctions.

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In its attempt to get the award overturned, Abubakar Malami, the attorney-general, had produced a witness statement accusing his predecessor of corruption.

He also said Adoke was on trial in Nigeria for alleged corruption in the OPL 245 settlement of 2011.

However, Adoke, through his lawyers, wrote to the court to deny the allegations and also demanded a withdrawal of “false evidence” and an apology from Malami.

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TheCable understands that Malami’s decision to strike out Adoke’s name was based on a number of failed cases in the past.

“The OPL 245 case failed in Italy. In fact, the court more or less commended Adoke for the role he played in the transaction and said there was no evidence of corruption against him,” a senior government official told TheCable.

“In the case Nigeria filed against JP Morgan in the UK over the same OPL 245 issue, Adoke was absolved by the court. Our case against P&ID was going to be endangered again and it only makes sense to drop his name.”

When it emerged that Malami had sworn to a witness statement accusing Adoke of corruption, he asked the attorney-general to “retract the false evidence he gave to the English court regarding me, apologise for the harm done to my name, instruct Nigeria’s counsel in England to cease and desist from repeating the allegations of corruption and other defamatory imputations being broadcast about me, instruct Nigeria’s counsel in England to move the court to redact the records and remove the offensive references to me, and propose appropriate monetary compensation for the violation of my constitutional rights and for the damage to my reputation”.

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Malami responded that he had a case to answer, although the latest development appears to suggest otherwise.

The federal government, in its written closing submissions, accused the firm of suppressing vital evidence, bribery, and perjury among others to win the arbitration.

Mark Howard, Nigeria’s lawyer, told the court that P&ID obtained its contract “by telling repeated lies and paying bribes to officials”.

Howard said Michael Quinn and Brendan Cahill, founders of P&ID, had a “track record of bribery” and were involved in corruption on an “industrial scale”.

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