The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, on Friday said he was ready to spend the rest of his life in jail if he is found to operate the secret domiciliary accounts that were attributed to him.
An online publication, iReports-ng.com, had accused the minister of concealing $40 million US dollars, 5.3Million Great Britain Pounds and N6.2billion naira in four secret accounts with First City Monument Bank, Diamond Bank and Zenith Bank.
But in an interview with Premium Times Friday evening, Mr. Adoke swore he had no such accounts.
“I have no such resources,” he said. “All they said in that report are tissues of lies. I am challenging the anti-corruption agencies in our country to investigate the allegations. If I am found guilty, the money should be confiscated. I should be tried and sent to jail.”
Mr. Adoke also urged Nigerians to take more than a passing interest in the investigations to ensure that the anti-corruption agencies make a good job of it and make the outcome of their investigations public.
The minister accused the authors of the publication of trying to intimidate him from doing his job as the chief law officer of Nigeria.
“My offence is that I issued a statement asking Nigerians to protest with decorum, to respect the law,” Mr. Adoke said. “In the statement, I recognized the right of the people tp protest. What did they want a responsible Attorney General of the Federation to do?”
Mr. Adoke has been one of President Goodluck Jonathan’s most controversial ministers. He has been accused of corruption in several instances. He is usually derided for entering into curious plea bargaining with some companies involved in the Halliburton bribery scandal.
The immediate past chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Farida Waziri, once engaged him in a protracted battle over allegations that he used his position to derail Nigeria’s war against corruption.
It could not be ascertained on Friday night whether the EFCC was ready to take up the challenge and investigate the allegations against the minister.
Both the commission’s Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, and spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, could not be reached for comments as their telephones were switched off.