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$1.1bn Malabu Fraud: Why ex-AGF, Adoke doesn’t deserve bail ― EFCC

…says he was involved in P&ID, Halliburton scandals

…as vacation Judge returns case-file to CJ

$1.1bn Malabu Fraud: Why ex-AGF, Adoke doesn't deserve bail ― EFCC
Mohammed Bello Adoke, Ex-AGF

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday, adduced reasons why the immediate past Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), should be allowed to remain in its custody.

The anti-graft agency, in a counter-affidavit it filed before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting at Maitama, alleged that the ex-AGF who was re-arrested upon his return to the country from Dubai on December 19, was implicated in several fraud cases running into billions of dollars.

It told the court that aside the $1.1bn oil bloc scam involving Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, Adoke, was also implicated in ongoing criminal investigations involving Process and Industrial Developments Limited (P&ID BVI), Process and Industrial Developments (Nigeria) Limited (P&ID Nigeria), which has a financial implication of $9.6billion against Nigeria.

Likewise, the agency told the court that Adoke was also fingered in other multinational fraud scandals that involved Halliburton Energy Services Ltd, as well as Continental Transfert Technique Limited Matter (CONTEC).

It, therefore, prayed the court to decline a bail application the embattled former AGF filed through his team of lawyers led by Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN).

Meanwhile, trial Justice Othman Musa, on Tuesday, said he would return back Adoke’s bail application to the Chief Judge of the High Court, Justice Ishaq Bello since the 14 days detention period the court granted to EFCC will expire on January 2.

When the matter was called up, counsel that represented Adoke, Mr. Benson Ignanoi, said they would need time to respond to issues EFCC raised in its counter-affidavit.

Meanwhile, EFCC, in a 13-paragraphed affidavit that was deposed to by one of its operatives, Ahmed Ibrahim, insisted that Adoke would jump bail of released from detention.

Ibrahim told the court that he was a member of the Unit that conducted investigation on the case against the former AGF.

He told the court that Adoke was arrested on November 11 in Dubai by the International Criminal Police Organization, commonly known as INTERPOL, and was formally handed over in Nigeria to the EFCC on December 19.

“That I know as a fact that the Complaint/Respondent has been conducting several criminal investigations involving the Defendant/Applicant before he was arrested and transferred to Nigeria, and one of such investigation was his role in the resolution of the dispute in Malabu Oil and Gas Limited and the payment of $1. 092, 000, 000.00 (One Billion and Ninety Two Million USD) to Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd.

“That I know as a fact that the Defendant/Applicant has also been implicated in ongoing criminal investigations involving Process and Industrial Developments Limited (P&ID BVI), Process and Industrial Developments (Nigeria) Limited (P&ID Nigeria), which has a financial implication of $9.6billion against Nigeria, Halliburton Energy Services Ltd (Halliburton), Continental Transfert Technique Limited Matter (CONTEC) etc, for which he is being interrogated alongside that of Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd”.

He urged the Judge to refuse the bail application Adoke filed on December 23, insisting that affidavits that were deposed in support of the motion by one Perpetua Ibeh, were untrue, outright falsehood, twisted and deliberately intended to hoodwink the court.

EFCC told the court that it was aware that Adoke travelled to Netherland on June 24, 2015, after his tenure in office as the AGF and Minister of Justice, and not before May, 2015.

It stressed that contrary to the former AGF’s claim that he voluntarily returned to the country to clear his name, he “was forced by the INTERPOL to return to Nigeria instead of Netherland where he has lived since 2015.

“That despite the fact that the Defendant/Applicant was aware that charges had been filed against him before this Honourable Court and the Federal High Court between 2016 and 2017, he refused/failed to return to Nigeria to be arraigned in court until he was arrested in U.A.E. by the INTERPOL which subsequently handed him over to the EFCC”.

It told the court that Adoke would be served with the charge against him and the proof of evidence that would include his statements after interrogations and his already filled assets declaration form.

More so, EFCC averred that the letter the current AGF, Abubakar Malami, SAN, wrote to absolve Adoke of any criminal culpability, was in relation to a money laundering charge against him marked FHC/ABJ/CR/268/2016, pending before the Federal High Court, which it said had nothing to do with the second criminal charge before the FCT High Court marked FCT/HC/124/2017.

It further told the court that one Mr. Vincenzo Amrmanna, a former staff of ENI Nigeria, is already standing trial in Milan Italy over allegation of receiving bribes in respect of the Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd deal, adding that one Mr. Edan Tofik Ogly Ageav is not in position to exonerate Adoke since he does not have the same amount of information and facts available to the EFCC.

“That further to paragraph 7(vi) above, the charge against the Defendant/Applicant is neither a witch-hunt nor that of vendetta as he claimed”.

It argued that despite the setting aside of the initial arrest warrant Justice Danlami Senchi issued against the ex-AGF, the U. A. E, being a signatory to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), was justified in assisting Nigeria to arrest and detain the Defendant/Applicant got offences of corruption and money laundering.

“That contrary to paragraphs 5 of the Defendant/Applicant’s affidavit in support, his decision to fly to Nigeria instead of Netherland was forced on him by the circumstances of his arrest and continuous incarceration in the UAE”.

It told the court that Adoke’s interrogation is still ongoing and has not been completed yet, noting that the court had on December 20, issued a remand warrant for the Defendant/Applicant to remain in custody for a period of 14 days that will expire on January 2, 2020.

“That the Defendant/Applicant has not exhibited any sign of ill-health that should warrant the EFCC to transfer him to a well equipped government hospital to deal with imaginary complex medical challenge”.

EFCC told the court that Adoke, being aam of influence on the society, would jump bail and escape again if admitted to it, saying he would also interfere with, intimidate or scare some of the intended witnesses.

It said the Defendant has full access to his lawyers at all time, and they were allowed to observer the interrogation process.

It argued that Adoke’s bail application could not be heard until the expiration of his remand period.

EFCC added that Adoke tendered his past medical report in a bid to sway the court to release him on bail.

It said the progress report did not disclose any serious medical situation to constitute special circumstances that should be considered by the court to order his release on bail.

SOURCE: Vanguard News Nigeria