By Soni Daniel, Abuja
Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, has asked former Justice Minister, Mohammed Adoke, to present himself for criminal trial over alleged economic crimes after accusing him of being used by the government to hound him.
Magu, who appeared miffed by the claims made by the former Attorney General in his new book, Burden of Service: Reminiscences of Nigeria’s former Attorney General accused Adoke of lying in the book to gain the sympathy of Nigerians to forget about his crimes.
The EFCC chairman, who described the allegations against him by Adoke in the book as tissues of lies, asked him to come forward for trial after the book claims.
In a statement in Abuja, by the Spokesman for the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, Magu denied the allegation by Adoke that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo used him to hound him under the guise of a criminal investigation to please some interests.
Magu said in the statement: “The Commission’s investigation holds Adoke liable in the matter of the implementation of the settlement and resolution of agreements on Oil Prospecting License OPL 245 and OPL214 between Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd, belonging to former Petroleum Minister, Dan Etete and the federal government of Nigeria in 2010
“It will be recalled that former President Olusegun Obasanjo had revoked the OPL 245, which the late General Sani Abacha granted to Etete, who was his Petroleum Minister and reassigned it Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company. Etete’s Malabu Oil and Gas, however, reclaimed the oil block in 2006 through the court. While Shell challenged the decision, a fraudulent settlement and resolution were perfected under President Goodluck Jonathan’s government with Shell and Eni buying the oil block from Malabu for $1.1billion.
“EFCC’s investigations, however, revealed crimes, that border on conspiracy, forgery of bank documents, bribery, corruption and money laundering to the tune of over $1.2 billion against Malabo oil and Gas Ltd, Shell Nigeria Ultra-deep (SNUD) Nigeria Agip Exploration (NAE) and their officials. Some of those officials are already facing criminal trials in Switzerland and Italy.
“The investigations further revealed that Etete and others fraudulently received an aggregate sum of US$ 801,540,000 (Eight Hundred Million, Five Hundred and Forty Thousand United States Dollars) from Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company, Nigeria Agip Exploration Ltd and ENI SPA concerning the oil prospecting license.
“Adoke as the Attorney General and Minister of Justice allegedly abused his office in respect of the granting of the oil prospecting license OPL 245 to Shell and ENI.
“A prima facie case, bordering on official corruption was established by the Commission following the investigations, culminating in court charges against Adoke, Etete, and others, which is still pending before the FCT High Court and the Federal High Court.
“The arraignment of Adoke SAN, Etete and others could not take place because they along with other defendants have remained at large, refusing to make themselves available for trial.
“The former chief law officer of the federation prefers to remain in self-exile, and engage the Commission in a needless media war.
Having now satisfied his long desire to titillate the public with some tales by moonlight in the mold of a semi author-biography, Adoke should now make himself available for trial.
The book specifically claimed in Chapter 8 of the book, that Magu was recruited by Prof. Osinbajo to hound and persecute him despite, as he claimed, his role in reinstating Magu to the EFCC from the police “where he had been vegetating.”
Adoke attributes his source of information on the alleged Osinbajo instruction to Magu against him to an unnamed governor from the North West, who according to him, claimed Magu told him that he had the instruction of Osinbajo to “deal with Adoke.”