By Innocent Anaba
Justice and Equity Forum, JEF, has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to withdraw its case against former Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Mohammed Adoke, in the light of new revelations at the ongoing OPL 245/Malabu trials in Milan, Italy.
Co-conveners of JEF, Alhaji Idris Kainji and Adebowale Peters, in a statement, also said in the money laundering case filed against Adoke at the Federal High Court, Abuja, by the EFCC, “there is not a single mention of OPL 245 and Malabu in the court papers and this must be considered curious under any circumstance.”
While commending Ibrahim Magu, acting EFCC Chairman, for the progress in the anti-graft war under his watch, JEF said: “On July 17, in Milan, Italy, Mr. Vincenzo Armanna, former ENI Manager who is standing trial over the Malabu scandal, told the court that Adoke warned ENI officials against discussing kickbacks and threatened them with arrest.
“This is the same Adoke that is being accused of collecting kickback from the deal. That doesn’t add up at all. We also note that on June 27, Mr Ednan Agaev, a former Russian diplomat who is also being tried over the scandal, told the Italian court that he was pressured under interrogation by the FBI to mention Adoke’s name as one of the recipients of the bribes reportedly paid to government officials in the deal.
“In fact, Agaev refused to adopt the FBI interview in court because, according to him, he did not mean for it to be used. He effectively confessed making a false accusation against Adoke. In a court of law, this will certainly kill the case except there is anything else to it.
“We, thereafter, applied for and got a certified true copy of court papers in the case filed against Adoke by EFCC at the Federal High Court, Abuja alleging money laundering. We went through the charges line by line and to our utmost surprise, nowhere did the EFCC mention that Adoke collected bribe.
“Yet what EFCC continues to tell the public is that Adoke is on trial for collecting $2.2 million bribes from the Malabu deal. Nowhere in the court papers did EFCC make any reference to bribe or Malabu. This is very strange.”