by Dolapo Adelana
A former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mohammed Adoke has written a letter to the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, declaring his innocence in the controversial Malabu oil deal.
Two major international oil companies, Shell and Agip were alleged to have bribed Nigerian officials to secure an oil prospecting licence for a block (OPL 245), which is considered as one of Nigeria’s most lucrative oil blocks.
The companies were alleged to have paid $801m to the Nigerian government in 2011, but the money reportedly found its way into the account of Malabu oil and gas – a company owned by Dan Etete, former petroleum minister – where it was later magicked.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has accused Adoke of exchanging $2.2 million in a bureau de change in Abuja as part of his own share, an allegation he denied.
Denying the allegations, Adoke said he was being unjustly attacked by the anti-graft agency.
He said the deal was agreed to by three former presidents (Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan.
“I anxiously want to know where I went wrong that I have been singled out by the EFCC for prosecution,” he wrote.
“I also want to know the effect of section 5 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended with respect to the vesting of all the executive powers of the federation in the president to exercise by himself and or through his ministers and appointees.
“What is the effect of section 5 of the constitution on persons who act pursuant to lawful Presidential approvals? This is more so as two out of the three presidents that had the opportunity to scrutinise this settlement (Presidents Obasanjo and Jonathan) are alive. Have they disowned the settlement? Has our predecessor in office, Chief Bayo Ojo, SAN distanced himself from the settlement he brokered?
“Have the honourable ministers of petroleum resources and finance at the time of implementation of the settlement (Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke, CON and Dr. Olusegun Aganga, respectively) disowned the settlement or their signatures? It is my respectful view that Nigerians deserve answers to these questions as it will help them and my humble self to understand the actions and the machinations of the EFCC masquerading to be acting in the national interest while surreptitiously deploying state resources and machinery to promote the personal agenda of their cohorts.”
Adoke appealed to Malami to ensure that state institutions did not become instruments for personal vendetta.
He added that he was ready to face justice if he was found guilty.
“I wish to use this medium to appeal to the honourable attorney-general of the federation to be mindful of his overarching powers over public prosecution and the need to ensure that state institutions do not become persecutors or instruments in the hands of those pursing personal vendetta,” he said.
“The constitution and the traditions of our noble profession demand your oversight over public prosecution.
“Consequently, if you find that I had breached my oath of office or abused my office, please do not hesitate to bring me to justice.
“However, if it is the contrary, as I strongly believe, that certain individuals who had vowed to even scores with me are now being aided by state institutions such as the EFCC; I deserve protection from these unwarranted attacks and dehumanising treatment that I am being subjected to merely because I chose to serve my fatherland.”