Malabu Scam: EFCC vows to extradite Nigeria’s ex-minister Adoke

The Federal Government has revealed that it is making all arrangements to extradite a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke, to face charges of fraud.

Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Johnson Ojogbane, disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja.

The EFCC charged Adoke and two multinational oil companies, Shell and ENI, to court for their roles in the Malabu $1.1billion scam.

The money was paid by the oil firms into a Nigerian government account in London for OPL 245, an oil block considered one of the richest in Africa. Adoke allegedly authorised the transfer of the funds into private accounts of former Petroleum Minister, Chief Dan Etete, in controversial circumstances. Over $800 million of the money was eventually transferred.

Most of the money is suspected to have ended in the private pockets of officials of the Goodluck Jonathan administration including Adoke, who has, however, denied any wrongdoing.

On the last adjourned date, the judge, Justice John Tsoho, fixed June 13 for arraignment of Adoke and the other co-defendants including Chief Etete.

Ojogbane, however, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the matter could not proceed because the EFCC had been unable to get Adoke and other defendants.

“The matter was adjourned until today (June 13) for arraignment of the defendants, but up till now, we have not been able to secure the attendance of most of the defendants, because they are outside jurisdiction, that is they are outside the country.

“The Federal Government is doing everything within its powers to bring them back to Nigeria so that they can face trial.

“The government will take steps, in collaboration with the International Police (INTERPOL) to locate them and bring them back to Nigeria through extradition, which is a very cumbersome process, but it will be done,” Ojogbane assured.

He said the court adjourned the matter until October 26 after the court’s vacation to enable the process of bringing Adoke and others back to Nigeria to be intensified.

Adoke, who had initially pledged to make himself available for trial, made a u-turn saying he feared he would not be treated fairly by the EFCC.

The EFCC had in December 2016, charged nine suspects, including Adoke, over the purchase of OPL 245.

The Federal Government had also on March 2, filed fresh charges against Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company Limited and Agip Nigeria Exploration Limited, a subsidiary of ENI, for alleged complicity in the Malabu $1.1 billion scandal.

Adoke, Etete, Aliyu Abubakar, ENI Spa, Ralph Wetzels, Casula Roberto, Pujatti Stefeno, Burrafati Sebestiano and Malabu Oil and Gas were charged alongside the two multinational oil companies.

 

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