Nigeria: Govt Files 42-Count Charge Against Adoke, Agip, Shell Over Malabu Oil Scam

(file photo)
21 January 2020

The Federal Government, on Monday, slammed a fresh 42-count charge against the former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, SAN, over alleged fraud in the $1.1billon Malabu oil deal.

Adoke, who served as AGF under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, was arrested upon his return to the country from Dubai, United Arab Emirate, on December 19, 2019.

He went on self-exile shortly after ex-President Jonathan lost his re-election bid in 2015, but was arrested and detained in Dubai by the INTERPOL on November 11.

FG, in the charge marked CR/151/2020, which was entered before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, alleged that he received gratification to facilitate the oil bloc fraud.

Other defendants in the charge are Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company Limited, Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited, Nigeria AGIP Exploration Limited, Dauzia Loya Etete (at large), Rasky Gbinigie, Munamuna Seidougha (at large) and Amaran Joseph (at large).

FG alleged that it was the ex-AGF that mediated controversial agreements that ceded OPL 245 to two oil giants, Shell and Eni, who in turn paid about $1.1 billion to accounts controlled by an ex-convict and former Petroleum Minister, Dan Etete.

OPL 245 is regarded as one of the biggest oil blocs in Africa.

It was initially awarded to Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd in 1998 by late military head of state, General Sani Abacha, in a process the EFCC insisted was against all known government regulations.

EFCC said its investigations revealed that Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd secured OPL 245 through fraudulent scheme involving high scale bribery and corruption by top management of the company and some government officials.

According to the charge, the former AGF, in August 2013 in Abuja while serving as a minister knowingly received United State Dollars equivalent of N300million which is reasonably suspected of having been unlawfully obtained and thereby committed offence punishable under Section 319A of the Penal Code, Cap. 532laws of the federation of Nigeria 1990.

The charge signed by Bala Sanga on behalf of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, alleged that the defendants had sometime in 2013, in Abuja, dishonestly used as genuine, the forged form CAC 7 and Board Resolution of Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, as well as the letter of resignation of one Mohammed Sani, and opened a Bank Account No. 2018288005 with First Bank of Nigeria Plc, with which they received the sum of $401,540,000.00.

The defendants were said to have by their action, committed an offence contrary to section 366 of the Penal Code and punishable under the same section of the Penal Code.

In count seven of the charge, Adoke was said to have in September 2013, knowingly and unlawfully obtained the sum of US dollars equivalent to N367,318,800 and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 319A of the Penal Code, Cap.532 laws of the federation of Nigeria 1990.

Some of the counts in the charge against the defendants read: "That you Mohammed Bello Adoke, being a public servant at the material time, the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice of the Government of Nigeria, sometime in August 2013, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court was in possession and custody of the sum of N300m reasonably suspected to have been unlawfully obtained and thereby committed an offence under section 319A of the Penal Code and punishable under the same section of the Penal Code.

"That you Mohammed Bello Adoke, being a public servant at the material time, the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice of the Government of Nigeria, sometime in 2013, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, accepted for yourself without consideration, the sum of N300m to broker the negotiation and signing of the Block 245 Resolution Agreement with Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited, Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited and thereby committed an offence under section 119 of the Penal Code and punishable under the same section of the Penal Code.

"That you Rasky Gbinigie, Munamuna Seidougha (at large), Amaran Joseph (at large) and Dauzia Loya Etete (at large), sometime in 2013, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, dishonestly used as genuine the forged form CAC 7 and Board Resolution of Malabu Oil and Gas Limited and the letter of resignation of one Mohammed Sani, which you then knew to be forged documents to open a Bank Account No. 2018288005 to receive the sum of $401,540,000.00 and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 366 of the Penal Code and punishable under the same section of the Penal Code.

"That you Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company Limited, Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited, Nigeria AGIP Exploration Limited and Dauzia Loya Etete (at large), sometime in 2012, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, all aided Mohammed Bello Adoke to waive taxes due to the Federal Government of Nigeria by illegal means through the execution of the Block 245 Resolution Agreement between the Government of Nigeria with Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited, Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited that you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 79 of the Penal Code and punishable under section 364 of the Penal Code.

"That you Rasky Gbinigie, Munamuna Seidougha (at large), Amaran Joseph (at large) and Dauzia Loya Etete (at large), sometime in August 2013, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, forged the resolution of Malabu Oil and Gas Limited which you filed along with Form CAC7 dated 2nd June 1998 at the Corporate Affairs Commission to remove one Mohammed Sanni as a shareholder of Malabu Oil and Gas Limited thereby committing an offence contrary as prescribed by section 363 of the Penal Code and punishable under section 364.

"That you Rasky Gbinigie, Munamuna Seidougha (at large), Amaran Joseph (at large) and Dauzia Loya Etete (at large), sometime in August 2013, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, all conspired to forge forms CAC7 and Board Resolution of Malabu Oil and Gas Limited and that the same act was done in pursuance of the agreement and that you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 96 of the Penal Code and punishable under section 97 of the Penal Code.

"That you Rasky Gbinigie, Munamuna Seidougha (at large), Amaran Joseph (at large) and Dauzia Loya Etete (at large), sometime in 2013, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, dishonestly used as genuine the forged form CAC 7 and Board Resolution of Malabu Oil and Gas Limited and the letter of resignation of one Mohammed Sani which you then knew to be forged documents to open a Bank Account No. 2018288005 to receive the sum of $401,540,000.00 (Four Hundred and One, Five Hundred and Forty Thousand United States Dollars) and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 366 of the Penal Code and punishable under the same section of the Penal Code.

"That you Rasky Gbinigie, Munamuna Seidougha (at large), Amaran Joseph (at large) and Dauzia Loya Etete (at large), sometime in 2013, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, dishonestly used as genuine the forged form CAC 7 and Board Resolution of Malabu Oil and Gas Limited and the letter of resignation of one Mohammed Sani which you then knew to be forged documents to open a Bank Account No. 3610042472 to receive the sum of $400,540,000.00 (Four Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 366 of the Penal Code and punishable under the same section of the Penal Code".

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