A police report accusing Olanrewaju Suraju, the head of a non-governmental organisation, Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), of peddling falsehood against a former Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, is not fake, an official of the police unit that issued the document has told PREMIUM TIMES.
HEDA had claimed in a statement sent to this newspaper that its findings indicated the report did not emanate from the police.
“An immediate reach-out to the IGP Monitoring Unit dismissed the existence of any such report,” HEDA Executive Secretary, Suleiman Arigbabu, said in a statement.
But a top official of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Monitoring Unit, the police unit that issued the document, has now confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that the document was produced by the leadership of his team based on Mr Adoke’s request.
“I can confirm to you that our unit issued the report to Adoke,” the official said. “He asked for it and we gave it to him for information and record purposes only.
“But when Olanrewaju Suraju called, he asked if we gave any report to The Cable. We said no because we indeed gave no report to The Cable.
“We did not tell him that the report we gave Adoke, which found its way to the media, is fake. It is not fake but we do not know how it got to the media. When we issued it, we indicated clearly that it was for information and record purposes only.”
The official asked not to be named because he had no permission to discuss ongoing investigations with the media.
Mr Adoke, one of those the EFCC is prosecuting for alleged fraud in connection with the OPL 245 saga, popularly referred to as the Malabu scandal, had petitioned the police accusing some unnamed persons of circulating fabricated evidence against him to unduly incriminating him.
The former attorney-general said an email submitted to a court in Italy was never written by him as claimed just like the tape of a purported interview he granted an Italian journalist. Mr Adoke asked the police to help uncover those who manufactured those pieces of evidence and bring them to book.
In a two-page report earlier reported by PREMIUM TIMES, the police alleged that Mr Suraju circulated false information about Mr Adoke via his organisation’s social media accounts without verifying its authenticity.
The police also alleged that Mr Suraju’s organisation was unregistered, a claim this newspaper found to be false after carrying out checks on the website of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
But HEDA, reacting in a statement, said the circulated report did not emanate from the police.
However, the copy of the report seen by our reporter was signed by the head of the IGP Monitoring Unit, Ibrahim Musa, an assistant commissioner of police.
Although dated September 2, the report carried the date of certification of September 3.
The Malabu case, in which the email and audiotape evidence complained about by Mr Adoke had featured, involved the transfer of about $1.1 billion by Shell and ENI through the Nigerian government to accounts controlled by a former Nigerian petroleum minister, Dan Etete.
Investigators and activists suspect Mr Etete bribed some top officials of the Goodluck Jonathan administration after Eni and Shell controversially acquired OPL 245, one of Nigeria’s richest oil blocks. Mr Etete had awarded the block to his Malabu Oil and Gas Limited while serving as petroleum minister in the late Sani Abacha`s regime.
Being the AGF who advised then Goodluck Jonathan administration on the OPL 245 transactions at the time, Mr Adoke’s name has repeatedly featured in matters connected to the deal.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had also accused Mr Adoke of accepting N300 million from Abubakar Aliyu, a controversial businessman and one of Mr Etete’s cronies.
Mr Adoke had, however, denied any wrongdoing, saying his transaction with Mr Aliyu was a property purchase deal that fell through after he could not raise the monetary balance for the asset.
While Shell and Eni, alongside their managers, were the main defendants in the case in Italy and have been acquitted, Messrs Adoke, Etete, and Aliyu have pending EFCC cases in Nigeria.
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