Malabu $1.1 billion fraud: Adoke pledges to make self available for trial


Charged with aiding and abetting money laundering in the $1.1 billion Malabu deal, former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, has denied any wrongdoing.

Mr. Adoke also restated his earlier claim that he represented the government in negotiating a deal between willing parties. He pledged to make himself available for trial.

“I hope to at the appropriate time make myself available to defend the charge for what whatever its worth,” he said from his base in the Netherlands.

In a statement on Wednesday, Mr. Adoke said his office brokered the agreement between Malabu Oil and Gas Limited and Shell Nigeria Limited to prevent Nigeria from paying a fine of $2 billion as damages for breach of contract.

He added that his office involvement was based on previous claims made by Shell before the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

“I wish to reiterate that I acted within the actual and ostensible authority of the Office I occupied to broker a settlement between Malabu Oil & Gas Limited and Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited in order to ward off the over US$2 Billion Dollars liability in damages for breach of contract which the country would have been exposed to in the likely event of the success of Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited’s claim before the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

“The Terms of Settlement ensured that the interests of the Federal Government of Nigeria, Malabu Oil & Gas Limited and Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited were duly acknowledged and provided for in the Settlement Agreement. The Federal Government of Nigeria was entitled to the Signature bonus which was duly paid; Malabu Oil & Gas Limited surrendered its title to OPL 245 for a consideration and Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited was re-allocated OPL 245 which had previously substantially de-risked in consideration for withdrawing their over US$ 2 Billion Dollars claim for breach of contract against the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“Since the Parties aforementioned, faithfully discharged their respective obligations under the Settlement Agreement, one cannot comprehend how the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation which brokered the Settlement was expected to renege from the agreement by denying Malabu Oil & Gas Limited the benefits associated with the relinquishing of their title to OPL 245 already warehoused in a joint FGN/Shell Escrow account, or to prevent the subsequent re-allocation of the relinquished OPL 245 to Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited when the company  had already furnished consideration for it to the Federal Government of Nigeria,” he said.

Mr. Adoke described his inclusion in the nine-count charge filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, as ‘an orchestrated plan to bring him to disrepute’.

“The charge of aiding the commission of money laundering offences preferred against me has finally confirmed the orchestrated plans to bring me to public disrepute in order to satisfy the whims and caprices of some powerful interests on revenge mission,” he said.

Nigeria’s richest oil block, OPL 245, was controversially awarded to a new company, Malabu Oil and Gas, days after it was created, during the military dictatorship of Sani Abacha.

The company, partly owned by the then Petroleum Minister, Dan Etete, was registered on April 20, 1998 and was awarded the block nine days later.

The Department of Petroleum Resources last week confirmed that due process was not followed in the award of the block and that it was awarded to Malabu only on the directive of Mr. Abacha.

After several political and judicial intrigues that ensured OPL 245 changed hands several times between Malabu, Shell, and the Nigerian government, Goodluck Jonathan emerged Nigeria’s president in 2010. On the prompting of Mr. Adoke, one of Mr. Jonathan’s first directive upon assuming office was that the oil block be given to Mr. Etete’s Malabu after the latter had fraudulently schemed out other owners of the firm.

A year after Mr. Jonathan approved the block to Malabu, the 2011 agreements  that led to the payment of the $1.1 billion by Shell and ENI into Nigerian government account was reached.

To ensure no one stopped the shady transfer of the $1.1 billion to Mr. Etete, the money had to be quickly transferred. More so, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was set to assume office as Nigeria’s Finance Minister and the officials involved were not sure she would play ball.

On August 16, 2011, a day before Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala was to assume office, Mr. Adoke and the then Minister of State for Finance, Yerima Ngama, authorised the transfer of the money to Malabu accounts in Nigeria controlled by Mr. Adoke. However, all the $1.1 billion could not be transferred. Emeka Obi, a man who claimed he helped broker the deal between Malabu and the oil majors filed a suit in the UK, that ensured $215 million was frozen of the money. The remaining $801 million were subsequently transferred to Mr. Etete: $400 million was transferred to a Bank PHB account while $401 million was transferred to a First Bank account.

Shell and ENI had repeatedly claimed they did not know the money was going to end up with Malabu. Investigations in Nigeria and Italy as well as leaked documents however revealed that claim to be false. Mr. Adoke’s statement on Wednesday also punctured Shell and ENI’s claim.

Mr. Adoke is charged alongside Mr. Etete as well as controversial businessman Abubakar Aliyu and companies linked to him who received about half of the money paid to Mr. Etete.


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  • Sage & Wisehead

    Adoke Muhammed has no choice. Should he decide to flee Holland he’ll be arrested by INTERPOL.
    The EFCC does not need to wait for his failure to appear in court before alerting the INTERPOL.
    I am not aware of a past attorney-general of Nigeria on the run for theft and moneylaundering.
    In that sense, Adoke Muhammed has made very bad history and created his own family history.
    He wanted money by all means and chose criminal gangs as contacts. He’ll stew in his juice.
    With a little home training he’d have been taught that the love of money is the root of evils.
    He’ll soon realize that sharing champagne with criminals is not what a sensible man does.
    His gang members may assure him of help but he alone will be remanded in prison cell.

    • marc umeh

      Maybe detention but not prison . This is not China. Nigeria do not imprison looters.

  • Senator D

    Adoke is very dirty. Not just dirty extremely dirty. I see him implicating some high profile individuals when he begins to sing like the canary bird at my backyard…

  • Dazmillion

    There is a deliberate omission of the pink elephant in the room by EFCC. Why would EFCC charge Adoke for $1 billion fraud which is above the approval limit of his ministry and not charge his boss who authorized the payment?

    • Julius

      Oh, they will get there bro. He will bring that up in court all by himself then his oga can be invited to give his own tory.

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    How many of you are struggling like me to find money to have a Merry Christmas with the family?

    We are hard workers earning legitimate income.

    And here, we have men sharing Billions of USD just because they found their way into the corridors of power.

    Me, I’m sick to the stomach and tired of these repeated betray of public trust by our officials.

    What I’m even most critical about is the FAILURE of President Buhari to have a coherent and effective strategy against corruption.

    The ICPC is useless and in the pocket of politicians, the courts and judges are compromised, the police are useless from time immemorial, and the EFCC is under onslaught by forces of retrogression.

    Yet, our dearly beloved President says tackling corruption is his Number 1 agenda.

    • Vivarevo2




    • marc umeh

      Where will anyone start in this fight against corruption.?
      This is beyond Buhari. He has obviously given up. No electricity, no water supply, no medical facilities , no jobs. And we continue worshipping our tormentors.

      • sab

        Where are the promises of 2014/2015 going into the elections? Where are the budgets of 2016? Where are the N3billion Aso Rock Clinic allocation? Where are the budgetary estimates for other essential services? Indeed ‘CHAIN’ BEGINS WITH YOU?

        • marc umeh

          I am not a prayerful person but we need lots and lots of prayer.

    • VERITAS_ the rock of ages_

      well said. but i would dispute this “the police are useless from time immemorial,”. they are useless because the politicians and the Nigerian Public want it that way. An effective Nigeria police force is bad for Nigerians because we are not law abiding citizens. The Politicians dont want them effective and powerful so they cant arrest them. We like to break laws and are happy our police are ineffective because we can get away with misdemeanour’s. The police have Almost 400k men with a budget of $1b. the civil defence has just 10% of that number but have a budget of $1+B, The army, airforce, navy just above 150k men in total have a budget of almost $10B. It is our fault our police are ineffective because we havent protested on their reforms and increase Budgets.

    • sab

      How can there be a coherent and effective strategy against corruption when those who surround him are themselves corruption personified? Or have you forgotten about the Burattai Dubai property? The Dambazzau USA property? What about the SGF N200m IDP grass cutting contract scam? What of the alleged MTN N400m fraud against the top Aso Rock official? Okay, you talked about ICPC and EFCC, fine, have these outfits invited any of the above mentioned for investigation? After the ICPC investigated those governors who collected bail out funds and found out most of them helped themselves with the funds instead of paying the salaries the fund was meant for, what did they do next? Did EFCC ask them any question? Did you ever hear of any of the governors’ bank accounts frozen? Why were they not exposed to medial trial? Very clear! Most of the affected governors belong to the party of the SAINTS, pure and simple. Under the circumstance therefore, how can anyone say there is fight against CORRUPTION?

  • Julius

    Yea, he saved us $2billion but, paid himself $millions in the process. A public employee that did what he suppose to do. Nonsense. Its always funny how they run their mouth far away from home, telling us how clean they are but, started refunding monies once they get back home . Koro came to mind. Come back home oga.

    • marc umeh

      Why would he come home.? He is enjoying 24 hr electricity , 24 hr water supply – set at any temp he wants- , no fear of kidnapping etc , and he has millions in his account.
      No Sir , he will come back at the “appropriate ” time. Keep on waiting !!!!

      • Julius

        Yes, making the country he is staying better with the money he stole while you are not enjoying those things you mentioned. Think about that sir. By the way, the FGN can also ask for his extradition.

    • Emeka

      He talked about making himself available, is if he has a choice…