Oil Deal: FG seeks arrest of Ex-Justice Minister Mohammed Adoke

Posted by News Express | 3 April 2017 | 2,251 times

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•Ex-AGF/Justice Minister Mohammed Adoke.

The Federal Government is seeking an arrest warrant on a former Attorney
General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Mohammed Adoke.

This request was presented by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which today charged the former Attorney General with illegal transfer of more than 800 million Dollars for the purchase of Oil Prospecting Licence OPL 245 to a former Minister of Petroleum, Don Etete, and Malabu Oil.

At the commencement of trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja, the EFCC informed Justice John Tsoho of an application for a warrant of arrest of the former AGF, seeking an advice on whether the application could be made orally or by way of a motion.

Justice Tsoho however refused to grant the arrest warrant, saying it would not be proper to do as the defendant was not before the court.

The counsel to the EFCC, Johnson Ojogbane, said he asked for a long judgment to enable him bring the defendants before the court, adding that he intends to also amend the charges.

The Federal Government is embroiled in a legal tussle over the ownership of OPL 245, which claims was transferred to international oil giants, Shell and ENI in questionable circumstance.

In January 2017, Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court had ordered an interim forfeiture of oil prospecting licence 245, otherwise known as Malabu oil.

The order, according to him, would last pending the conclusion of investigation and prosecution of Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Ltd, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Ltd, Nigerian Agip Exploration Ltd, Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd and other individuals named in connection with the act of conspiracy, bribery, official corruption and money laundering.

Justice Tsoho also ordered the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to manage the oil processing licence of OPL 245 on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

EFCC told the court that it has taken steps in the interest of the public in view of the crimes and fraud against the Federal government of Nigeria.

But in March 2017, Justice Tsoho set aside his orders made on January 26, 2017 for a temporary forfeiture of Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 245, to the Federal Government pending the conclusion of investigations by EFCC.

Ruling on an application filed by the EFCC, Justice Tsoho upheld the application filed by Nigerian Agip Oil Exploration and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited, challenging the order of forfeiture.

He held that the orders for forfeiture was initially made, based on the ex-parte application filed by the EFCC which was irregularly filed. (Channels TV)

Source: News Express

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