Malabu $1.1 billion deal: Obasanjo authorised first agreement — Adoke

Mohammed Adoke

A former Attorney-General of the Federation, Bello Adoke, has petitioned the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, imploring the nation’s number one law enforcement official to call the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to order.

Mr. Adoke, in a string of complaints sent to PREMIUM TIMES by email Sunday, said the anti-graft agency allegedly singled him out for persecution when other former high-level government officials, including former President Olusegun Obasanjo, took some of the critical decisions that culminated in the controversial $1.1 billion Malabu transactions.

“I believe it is your responsibility to explain to the public who are being sold a fiction that the transaction started from President Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR under whose administration the Terms of Settlement were brokered with Chief Bayo Ojo, SAN, as the then Attorney General who executed the Terms of Settlement before the tenure of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR who approved the final implementation of the Terms of Settlement and my humble self who executed the resolution agreements,” Mr. Adoke said in the petition dated March 6.

“This is more so as the Settlement and its implementation were situated in the Federal Ministry of Justice,” he added.

The appeal was sent three days after Mr. Adoke accused the EFCC of lending itself to manipulation by powerful political interests, after the anti-graft agency slammed fresh charges of money laundering against him and one of his associates, Aliyu Abubakar, accusing them of sharing millions of dollars in fraudulent proceeds.

In the charges, filed at the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, the EFCC alleged that Mr. Adoke exchanged more than $2.2 million in a bureau de change in Abuja as part of his share in the controversial $1.1 billion Malabu Oil deal.

Prosecutors believe Mr. Abubakar‎, a controversial owner of A.A. Oil Ltd., acted as middleman in the questionable deal.

The EFCC said in the court filings that Mr. Adoke took delivery of exactly $2,267,400 on September 16, 2013, and immediately enlisted the service of money changers to have it converted to the local currency.

Based on the prevailing exchange rate at the time, Mr. Adoke made N345, 200,000 after successfully converting the funds. He subsequently deposited all the money in a Unity Bank account to offset an outstanding overdraft of N300 million, court documents showed.

But Mr. Adoke swiftly denied the allegations at the time, saying the EFCC knew the facts of the case but was deliberately muddling them up to confuse “gullible” Nigerians and malign his image.

In his petition to Mr. Malami, the former AGF begged his successor to save him from “unwarranted attacks and dehumanising treatment” just because he “chose to serve” his “fatherland.”

He reminded Attorney-General about former government officials who took part in the controversial deal and approvals they allegedly gave.

“It will be recalled that the Terms of Settlement encapsulating details of the Settlement between the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) and Malabu Oil & Gas Limited (Malabu) was executed on 30th November 2006.

“The Terms of Settlement, which was later, reduced into a Consent Judgment of the Federal High Court; Abuja was brokered by our predecessor in office, Chief Bayo Ojo, SAN and signed on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria by the then Honourable Minister of State, for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Edmund Daukoru, during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR.”

He queried why the EFCC had not invited those officials, especially since they didn’t deny their alleged roles.

EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, could not be reached for comments Sunday night. His known telephone lines were switched off.

Mr. Adoke, again, absolved himself of any wrongdoing, saying he saved Nigeria more than $2 billion in damages that stemmed from arbitration claims instituted against the Nigerian government at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes over the OPL 245 block, which is believed to hold more than 9 billion barrels of crude oil and even more volumes of natural gas.

Mr. Adoke was instrumental to Nigerian government’s involvement in the suspicious Malabu Oil deal, which saw Shell and Agip-Eni paying money into an escrow account of the Nigerian government to settle a firm with a questionable history.

Mr. Adoke authorised the transfer of the $1.1 billion paid by Shell and Eni into private accounts of Mr. Etete, who further transferred a large percentage to Mr. Abubakar. Investigations suggested that Mr. Abubakar might have acted as a front for officials of the Goodluck Jonathan administration, including Mr. Adoke. ‎

Shell, Agip-Eni, Mr. Adoke and Mr. Etete, who initially approved the lease award of the OPL 245 while he was petroleum minister in 1998, have all denied wrongdoings.

But Italian prosecutors said late last year they had enough grounds to charge Shell, Agip-Eni, and their executives alongside other Nigerians involved in the controversial deal for fraud in Milan.

In separate charges filed late 2016, the EFCC accused Mr. Adoke and Mr. Etete of defrauding Nigeria in the OPL 245 deal.

The Department of Petroleum Resources said last December that Mr. Adoke and other officials of the Jonathan administration who participated in the concession of the lucrative oil field to Shell and Agip-Eni did not follow due process.

Mr. Adoke, who is currently in the Netherlands for study, had maintained his innocence and pledged to make himself available for trial.


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application


All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.

  • Onakposegaagbor

    Mr Adoke has no moral grounds to petitioning the AGF,all he need do is to prove beyond reasonable doubt in the court that he did not collect kickbacks in the deal instead trying to digress from the Onus

    • Sarah

      At law, the onus to prove beyond reasonable doubt rests on the accuser/prosecutor, in this case , EFCC.
      This is not to defend Adoke and co.

      • Invitro


        There is actually nothing to prove when a prohibited act has been
        committed. It is illegal to sell OPL 245 in whole to Shell and Agip because OPL
        245 is classed as indigenous oil bloc to be held by a Nigerian by not less than
        60%. Therefore, the purported sale of OPL 245 to Shell and Agip by Malabu Oil
        through Goodluck Jonathan as obligor under a bogus agreement signed by Adoke
        Muhammed, is null and void and of no effect whatsoever. Adoke Muhammed has
        issued over 20 desperate press statements to escape arrest for prosecution. In
        none of those press statements – not even in this one – does Adoke Muhammed
        deny that the law prohibits 100% foreign ownership of the oil bloc named OPL
        245. Rather, Adoke Muhammed evades that issue like an ostrich. But’s he just
        being clever by half and perhaps un-intelligent. You can’t argue your way out
        of illegality. Adoke Muhammed has walked himself into the middle of criminal
        justice in Nigeria and abroad. He will ultimately be brought to justice and
        possibly jailed and dis-barred forever as a lawyer.

        • John A

          Go and read the news again, have you been able to arrest obj and Jonathan?
          why are you more interested in the messenger rather than the one who sent him?

          • kinsly

            Let him just come and defend himself. The case is in court and he has been duely charged accordingly. He is not a journalist, he is supposed to be a lawyer, ‘SAN’ for that matter, he should grow some balls, come home with all this newspaper evidence to defend himself. Thieves in Legal robe.

          • John A

            Do we have courts in Nigeria?
            Why is the efcc more after him than obj and jonathan ?

          • Immanueli


            By the way what do Nigerians
            expect will now happen after Buhari nullified the sale of OPL 245 by
            Malabu Oil company to Shell Oil company, after Shell had paid $1.1 billion
            which was shared as loot by a few government officials? Do Nigerians expect
            that Agio shareholders who own the $1.1 billion will just walk away like that?
            If that’s what Nigerians at home expect they’ll need to be woken up to smell
            the coffee. No private company in Europe will EVER agree to forfeit $1.1
            billion into the pockets of seven black Africans, as bribe, disguised as
            private purchase price for OPL 245. Agip Oil will go after all the bribe takers
            with venom, to recover the entire $1.1 billion, without a doubt.

          • duwdu

            Those are what all patriotic citizens would want to happen eventually, and, God willing, they will!


    • C. T. Law


      Mohammed Adoke –
      a stuttering ignoramus, was of course dead wrong on point of law. He
      said the federal government – i.e. President Jonathan – merely acted as
      ‘obligor’ – to sound confident that no liability shall ensue. But an obligor
      does not mean an innocent bystander but rather means a full participant
      as counter-party to a transaction.

      In June 2014, the United States Justice
      Department in Washington D.C said it has begun criminal investigation of two
      counter-parties to this OPL 245 transaction.

      On the wording of ‘an obligor’
      daft Muhammed Adoke inserted, ex-President Jonathan may just be one of the two
      ‘counter-parties’ now under investigation for money-laundering in United States of America.
      To that extent too General Aliyu Gusau will stand implicated as co-accused for partaking in
      sharing the loot, according to the findings of Italian prosecutors.

      • Foreign News

        “Though Shell and ENI paid Nigerian government, the $1.1billion was transferred shortly after
        to Malabu Oil and Gas company controlled by ex-Oil Minister, Dan Etete, who in 2007 was
        convicted in France of moneylaundering. According to the (then) Nigerian Attorney
        General and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke, Shell and ENI were fully
        aware, and in agreement, that the money would be transferred to Etete’s
        company, Malabu Oil & Gas.

        If as Nigeria’s Attorney General Mohammed Adoke suggests, Shell and ENI knew that the
        ultimate destination of the US$1.1 billion paid by Shell and the Italian energy company – ENI –
        for a Nigerian oil block – OPL 245 – would be Malabu Oil and Gas company and Chief Dan Etete,
        then, this transaction might well fall foul of anti-bribery legislation in the United Kingdom,
        the United States, and Italy.

        The reason is that a substantial monetary ’reward’ ended up being paid to a company controlled by an individual, who had arguably abused his public position to obtain OPL 245 in opaque circumstances
        during the General Abacha dictatorship in Nigeria”

        …….…..Global Witness (U.S.A)

        (November 12, 2012)

    • kinsly


  • Julius

    lolz, its true, no honor among thieves !!. He will sing some more the more the efcc tightened the screws on him. It’s also interesting that the Italian and the UK investigators did not mention anybody else than the usual suspect.

  • Okey Okoye

    OBJ has been bad news for the nation and he still meddles on the affairs of other administrations . But , the run away attorney, you are ole and in cohort in defrauding the country billions.

    • Dele O.


      I really pity each greedy man who put his neck into this Malabu deal. It will be very messy.
      We’re now told that Agip directors are facing criminal prosecution in Italy for sentencing
      to jail over their involvement. We are being told that America has pinned down two
      Nigerian suspects who violated the moneylaundering laws of United States by
      transferring the money to JP Morgan branch in America.

      We are being told that Agip owners will soon file a civil case
      in court to recover the whole $1.1 billion from everybody who took a dollar out
      of it. That means that the people who thought they were smart by violating the
      law to do this OPL 245 Malabu Oil deal are actually not as wise as they thought.
      They will soon be owing $1.1 billion which neither they nor their children
      can pay either immediately or at any time in the near future.

  • Alpha

    Adoke must be so draft to think Nigerians can’t think. EFCC is after Adoke for DIVERTING substantial part of the money paid for this deal! Is he saying the money was paid into Bayo Ojo, Daukoru, OBJ’s or Yaradua’s accounts?

    The dollars and Naira conversion and what account used were quoted by EFCC, so how does this affected those he is dragging into it? In what year was the so called agreement implemented?

    • Bunmi Fabusola

      Yes! Alpha! Can u imagine him talking bla bla blah! When it’s a fact, he changed more than 2 millions of dollars at the “bureau de change”, where the dollars came from! Yet, he’s taking shit! Hidding overseas, instead to come down to defend the allegations!! Let him continuing hidding over there! He’s a thief of Baghdad!!