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Malabu $1.1bn Fraud: EFCC to Extradite Adoke, Nigeria’s ex-Attorney General to Face Prosecution

By Ayo Balogun, Abuja

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has vowed to extradite Nigeria’s former attorney general  and justice minister, Mohammed Adoke, to face prosecution in the controversial Malabu oil $1.1 billion scam.

The money was said to have been paid by oil firms into a Nigerian government account in London for the sales of OPL 245, an oil block.  

Mr. Adoke then, attorney general  and justice minister authorised the transfer of the funds into private accounts of former petroleum minister, Dan Etete, in controversial circumstances. Over $800 million of the money was eventually transferred.

When the matter came up on Tuesday before Justice Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Abuja Adoke, and former minister of petroleum, Mr Dan Atete were absent in court.

Prosecuting counsel, Johnson Ojogbane, however told Justice J.T. Tsoho that “until now, we have not been able to secure attendance of most of the defendants because they are outside jurisdiction”.

Recall that Ojogbane had at the April 3, 2017 sitting requested Justice Tsoho to issue an arrest warrant for the defendants who were currently on the run, noting that the prosecution was having difficulties serving Adoke with the charges as “he is outside the jurisdiction of the court”.

Justice Tsoho, however, declined, explaining that the court could only grant such a request, if such “a person has been arraigned before a court and is attempting to escape”.

Mr. Ojogbane informed the court that the Government is doing everything within its powers to bring them back to Nigeria so that they can face their trial.

“The government will take steps, in collaboration with the international police to locate them and bring them back to Nigeria through extradition, which is a very cumbersome process, but it will be done.”

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had on March 2, 2017 filed fresh charges against them, along with two international oil giants – Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company, and Eni, as well as Aliyu Abubakar, Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd, Rocky Top Resource Ltd, Imperial Union Ltd, Novel Properties & Dev. Co. Ltd, Group Construction Ltd, Megatech Engineering Ltd.

They are alleged to have defrauded the Nigerian government of the said sum, in a fraudulent deal involving the transfer of ownership of Oil Prospecting Licence, OPL 245.

Their arraignment has now been fixed for October 26, 2017.

 

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