Malabu $1.1 billion scandal: It’s difficult to get hold of Adoke, Etete – EFCC

Former Attorney-General of the Federation, Bello Adoke.

The trial of former Nigerian ministers, Dan Etete and Mohammed Adoke, for alleged diversion of $1.1 billion in the controversial sale of Oil Prospecting License, OPL 245 stalled on Thursday, following the inability of the prosecution to present the accused persons.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had charged the defendants with fraud over their roles in the sale of one of Nigeria’s richest oil well, the OPL 245, during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Various charges relating to the matter are before an Abuja Division of the Federal High Court presided over by Justice John Tsoho.

One of the cases, involving Messrs. Adoke and Etete and a businessman, Abubakar Aliyu, was slated for Thursday but could not proceed because EFCC could not produce the defendants in court.

“My Lord, the process of getting the defendants to come to court has proven difficult,” the agency’s lawyer, Johnson Ojogbane, told the court.

He prayed for a long adjournment to allow the commission finalise discussions with authorities of the countries where the defendants are located to bring them back to the country.

Mr. Ojogbane later explained to PREMIUM TIMES that the application became necessary because the commission could not try only one of the three defendants.

“Both Etete and Adoke are not in the country. They are outside the jurisdiction of the court and we cannot try only Abubakar. That’s why we asked for time to finish the process of bringing them back,” Mr. Ojogbane said.

Mr. Tsoho adjourned the matter, till February 15.

Background to the case

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 his attorney general, Mr. Adoke, one of Mr. Jonathan’s first directive upon assuming office was that the oil block be given to Malabu.

Persons close to Mr. Jonathan told PREMIUM TIMES that the former president took the decision because of his closeness to Mr. Etete who had helped him during his tenure as petroleum minister and because of the perception among persons from the oil producing Niger Delta that OPL 245 was one of the few oil blocks awarded to someone from the region.

By 2010, Mr. Etete had schemed out other owners of Malabu, including by fraudulently altering Corporate Affairs Corporation, CAC, documents, investigations revealed.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported how the EFCC filed a nine-count corruption and money laundering charge against Mr. Etete, Mr. Adoke, and controversial businessman, Abubakar Aliyu, for their roles in the scam.

Mr. Adoke it was, who authorised the transfer of $801 million of the money paid by Shell and Eni to Malabu’s accounts controlled by Mr. Etete despite having prior knowledge of the latter’s previous criminalities including manipulation of company registration documents of Malabu.

The former attorney general has however denied any wrongdoing and has pledged to return to Nigeria to face charges.

Mr. Etete, who was once convicted for money laundering in France, subsequently transferred over $450 million of the money he received into the accounts of fictitious companies controlled by Mr. Aliyu who investigators believe was a front for interested parties and top officials of the Goodluck Jonathan administration, including Mr. Adoke. Those four companies were also charged by the EFCC last week.

Mr. Etete would later tell a British Court that only $250 million of the money truly belonged to him. The €50 million cash the Italian, Mr. Casula, received in Abuja is believed to be part of the money transferred to Mr. Aliyu by Mr. Etete.


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  • Kogi Collectives (K.C)


    EFCC is not telling the truth

    EFCC is not telling the truth on
    Adoke Muhammed who is a fugitive from justice. A fugitive holed up in Europe
    can be nabbed by INTERPOL if the Nigerian Police send a request. There’s no
    drop of Hercules in Adoke Muhammed to make it difficult to smoke him out in
    Europe since he is so black and uncouth he’ll stand out of the white crowd in
    Amsterdam where he’s believed to be hiding.

    • Konkolo

      Thank you. You just spoke my mind.

    • Patrick Otobo

      I sympathize with you on your frustration. Sooner than later you will realize that EFCC has no case against Adoke. The history Malabu is in public space and all attempts by Premium Times to stand truth on its head will fail. Shame on you!!!

  • forestgee

    Once you get hold of Maina, you will find Etete and Adoke! Baru’s case and NNPC together will grass cutter appear to have been buried. The hunt is for opposition corruption cases.

  • zacchaeus Akinleye

    The arm of the Nigerian government is suddenly shortened that it cannot reach her fugitive citizens hiding in plain view in the western world where the instrumentality of the law holds sway. The EFCC is now impotent to do a good job of cleansing the Augean stable that successive administrations have become. If the duo of Adoke and Etete currently living in Europe cannot be apprehended because they may spill the beans on compromised prominent citizens who have held high offices, you may say good bye to a better country. Shame on US!!!!!!!!

    • Sanssouci

      These guys were charged to court December 2016, under investigation since 2015, one wonders what is so difficult about extraditing someone from europe hiding in plain view as you put it, yet EFCC is spending countless man hours putting up the current comedy show called locate Maina. Big Shame on us

  • Patrick Otobo

    ” On the prompting of his attorney general, Mr. Adoke, one of Mr. Jonathan’s first directive upon assuming office was that the oil block be given to Malabu” .

    The above statement by Premium Times is a huge lie meant to deceive the gullible members of the public in order to satisfy the vested interest that Premium Times represents in the Malabu case. Nothing can be farther from the truth. The ownership of OPL 245 has been vested in Malabu since 2006 through a Settlement Agreement midwifed by Obasanjo and the then Justice Minister ( Bayo Ojo) and Edmund Daukoru (Minister of State for Petroleum then). The Settlement Agreement is in public space. Based on the agreement, Malabu is at liberty to deal with OPL 245 as it deems fit including ceding all or part of it to any party.

    Premium Times is king of junk journalism!!! King of lies!!! Premium Lies!!!

  • Patrick Otobo

    Dear Editor, Premium Times,

    Did the Ex-AGF act in his official capacity by endorsing the Resolution agreement on behalf of the federal government ? If the answers is yes, what then is the effect of Public Officers Protection Act? The Public Officers Protection Act CAP 41, LFN limits liability of public officers to a period of three months after the acts which are complained of except the acts were not within his official capacity. In simpler terms, the provision of the Act has rubbed the jusridiction of the court or render unenforceable any action commenced outside the mandatory three months periods by any law enforcement agency.

    PT please tell those who commissioned you to malign Adoke that is a bad business for you. You guys are exposing yourself more and more. You have become the black leg of the journalism profession.