Nigeria: Adoke's Arrest in Dubai Violates Interpol Law, Ozekhome Tells Court

3 December 2019

Former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), yesterday told an Abuja High Court that his arrest in Dubai violated the provisions of enabling law of the International Police Organisation (Interpol).

Speaking through his lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), Adoke told Justice Danladi Senchi that the arrest and continued detention of his client up till yesterday was illegal, noting that there was no valid arrest warrant backing it.

Ozekhome said this when an application seeking the removal of Adoke's name from the $1.1billion Malabu Oil scam was scheduled to come up for hearing.

Adoke, who had been on self-exile after he left office as the AGF in 2015, was arrested in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), by the Interpol on November 11 over the pending Malabu Oil charges which was instituted against him and others as far back as 2017.

Upon an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which filed the charges, Justice Senchi, on April 11, issued an arrest warrant against Adoke and the other defendants for not being available for arraignment.

On October 25, the same judge set aside the arrest warrant after Adoke and his co-defendants challenged its validity.

Ozekhome informed Justice Senchi yesterday that Adoke had travelled to Dubai for a medical check-up after the arrest warrant was vacated, only for him to be arrested based on the vacated arrest warrant.

He said, "When his (Adoke's) warrant of arrest was vacated on October 25, he felt he should go for medical check-up in Dubai.

"He was arrested there based on the earlier court warrant of arrest." Ozekhome faulted the arrest.

He said the arrest contravened Chapter 3 of the Interpol Article because warrant which formed the basis for the arrest had been vacated. He said he had written all relevant authorities, including the EFCC, the incumbent AGF Abubakar Malami (SAN), the UAE authorities and Interpol, intimating them on the need to release his client in the light of the developments, but to no avail.

"It is the duty of the AGF to ensure that the rights of every Nigerian citizen are protected," he added.

On his fresh application for the removal of his client's name from the Malabu Oil charges, Ozekhome said it had been served on the EFCC but the commission had yet to file its reply. The EFCC's prosecuting counsel, Offem Uket, promised to file and serve his reply to the application by Tuesday.

The judge then adjourned the case till Wednesday for hearing.

Adoke is seeking the removal of his name from the pending charges on the grounds that he had secured a judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja against the Attorney-General of the Federation, representing the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in which he was completely exonerated with respect to the facts and circumstances relating to the Malabu Oil scam.

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