Nigeria: $1.2 Billion Malabu Scandal - Court Grants Adoke Bail

30 January 2020

The FCT High Court in Gwagwalada on Thursday granted a N50 million bail to a former justice minister, Mohammed Adoke.

Mr Adoke is accused of fraud by the EFCC. He denies the charge.

Justice Idris Kutigi who gave the ruling also ordered Mr Adoke to provide one surety who must be resident in Abuja and who must have a landed property in the capital territory.

The second defendant, Abubakar Aliyu, also got bail on the same condition, while the third defendant, Rasky Gbinigie, was granted N10 million bail.

Mr Gbinigie was asked to sign an undertaking not to interfere with the trial or further investigation by the EFCC.

The charges against Mr Adoke include those related to money laundering, denying Nigeria taxes and an alleged N300 million bribe.

The EFCC accuses the former attorney general of accepting gratification to facilitate the OPL 245 oil agreement with Shell, Eni, and their Nigerian subsidiaries.


The EFCC had been pursuing Mr Adoke for his alleged role in the controversial transfer of Nigeria's OPL 245 oil field.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how almost half of the $1.1 billion paid by Shell and Eni in a controversial OPL 245 deal negotiated by Mr Adoke and some other officials of the Goodluck Jonathan administration ended in accounts controlled by Mr Aliyu.

The oil multinationals paid the money through the Nigerian government to Malabu, a company then controlled by Dan Etete, a former petroleum minister who is on the run.

Malabu, which was illegally awarded OPL 245 when Mr Etete was a minister in 1998, then transferred about half of the money into accounts partly controlled by Mr Aliyu.

The EFCC alleges that Mr Aliyu distributed the money to some top officials of Shell and Eni as well as some officials of the Jonathan administration.

The EFCC also believes Mr Adoke received N300 million from Mr Aliyu in 2013. The anti-graft agency alleges that was his share of the Malabu windfall.

Shell, Eni, and their officials are already being prosecuted in Italy for the scandal.

Mr Adoke has denied any wrongdoing and said the actions taken in respect of the transfer of the bloc were based on the instructions of former President Goodluck Jonathan and in the best interest of Nigeria.

In 2015, the former minister went on a self-imposed exile outside Nigeria. He eventually travelled to Dubai where he was arrested by Interpol at the prompting of the EFCC.

Upon his return to Nigeria, he was arrested at the Abuja airport and handed over to the EFCC on December 19.

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