January 22, 2020

Malabu scam: EFCC’s failure to serve charges stalls Adoke’s trial

Bello Adoke

Mohammed Adoke Bello


The arraignment of a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, and his co-defendants, for their alleged involvement in the Malabu oil scam, was stalled at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Gwagwalada, on Wednesday due to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failure to serve the defendants with the charges ahead of the proceedings.

The EFCC’s lead prosecuting counsel, Bala Sanga, told the court that the Commission had only served the charges on the fifth to the seventh defendants – Nigeria Agip Exploration, Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited, and Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company Limited.

He said the Commission had not served the second defendant, Aliyu Abubakar, because he was only arrested Wednesday morning.

Sanga added that the commission wanted to ensure that Aliyu was arrested and served before others would be served.

Among the seven defendants, Malabu Oil and Gas Limited was not represented by a lawyer.

But the firm was represented by one of its officials, who told the court that the firm had not been served.

Aliyu’s lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), protested the prosecution’s claim that his client was on the run.

Adoke’s lawyers, Paul Erokoro (SAN) and Mike Ozekhome (SAN) said the EFCC had refused to serve the 42- count charge on their client despite that he had been in custody since December 19 last year.

Justice Idris Kutigi adjourned the hearing till Thursday.