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FG Files Fresh 42-count Charge Against Adoke, Malabu, Agip, Shell, Others

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The federal government has filed fresh 42-count charges against former attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke and six others over alleged $1.1 billion fraud in the controversial Malabu Oil deal.

The document containing the new charges with number CR/151/2020 was filed at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

In it, Adoke and the others were accused of receiving gratification to carry out a fraudulent oil deal.

The government said that Adoke mediated the controversial agreements that ceded Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 245 to Shell and ENI, which in turn paid about $1.1 billion to accounts controlled by an ex-convict and former petroleum minister, Dan Etete.

Etete, now at large, was petroleum minister during the regime of the late head of state, Gen. Sani Abacha.

Since he left Nigeria after the exit of former President Goodluck Jonathan from office in May 2015, Adoke only returned into the country on December 19, 2019 from Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), into the waiting arms of operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Adoke has pending criminal charge brought against him by the EFCC for alleged abuse of office and money laundering in the grant of OPL 245 to Shell and ENI.

In the charge dated 14th January, 2020 and filed the next day, the government also charged Rasky Gbinigie, A. Abubakar, Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, Shell Ultra Deep Limited and Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Limited with similar offences.

Adoke allegedly in August 2013 in Abuja while serving as a minister knowingly received United States (US) dollars equivalent of N300 million, which is reasonably suspected of having been unlawfully obtained and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 319A of the Penal Code, Cap 532, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990.

The charge document was signed by Bala Sanga on behalf of the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu.

The government said that one of the accused persons, Rasky Gbinigie conspired with Munamuna Seidougha (at large), Amaran Joseph (at large) and Dauzia Loya Etete (at large), sometime in 2013, in Abuja, dishonestly used as genuine the forged Form CAC 7 and Board Resolution of Malabu Oil and Gas Limited and the letter of resignation of one Mohammed Sani to open a bank account No. 2018288005 with First Bank of Nigeria Plc to receive the sum of $401.540 million.

It asserted that accused persons committed an offence contrary to Section 366 of the Penal Code and punishable under the same section of the Penal Code.

In count seven, for instance, Adoke was said to have in September 2013 knowingly and unlawfully obtained the sum of US dollars equivalent to N367.318 million and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 319A of the Penal Code, Cap 532, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990

In the case of Gbinigie, the company secretary of Malabu Oil, he allegedly made false resignation letter signed by one Alhaji Hassan Hindu as having resigned from the Board of Malabu Oil and Gas Limited.

The details of the charges filed against the accused persons read: “That you Mohammed Bello Adoke, being a public servant at the material time, the attorney-general and minister of justice of the government of Nigeria, sometime in August 2013, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this court was in possession and custody of the sum of N300 million reasonably suspected to have been unlawfully obtained and thereby committed an offence under Section 319A of the Penal Code and punishable under the same section of the Penal Code.

“That you Mohammed Bello Adoke, being a public servant at the material time, the attorney-general and minister of justice of the government of Nigeria, sometime in 2013, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this court, accepted for yourself without consideration, the sum of N300 million to broker the negotiation and signing of the Block 245 Resolution Agreement with Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited, Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited and thereby committed an offence under Section 119 of the Penal Code and Punishable under the same section of the Penal Code.

“That you Rasky Gbinigie, Munamuna Seidougha (at large), Amaran Joseph (at large) and Dauzia Loya Etete (at large), sometime in 2013, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this court, dishonestly used as genuine the forged Form CAC 7 and Board Resolution of Malabu Oil and Gas Limited and the letter of resignation of one Mohammed Sani, which you then knew to be forged documents to open a bank account No. 2018288005 to receive the sum of  $401.540 million and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 366 of the Penal Code and punishable under the same section of the Penal Code.

“That you Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company Limited, Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited, Nigeria AGIP Exploration Limited and Dauzia Loya Etete (at large), sometime in 2012, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this court, all aided Mohammed Bello Adoke to waive taxes due to the Federal Government of Nigeria by illegal means through the execution of the Block 245 Resolution Agreement between the government of Nigeria with Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited, Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited that you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 79 of the Penal Code and punishable under section 364 of the Penal Code.”

EFCC To Arraign Adoke On 7 Amended Charges

In another development, the EFCC plans to arraign Adoke on seven amended charges, LEADERSHIP has learnt.

In the charge document, Adoke and other suspects are to be arraigned for offences specified under Section1 (a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 16 (2)(b)  of the same Act.

They may be arraigned today and as the charges have been filed at the Federal High Court and at the FCT High Court.

One of the charges read ‘that you Mohammed Bello Adoke, sometime in September 2013, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this court, accepted as payment the sum of United States dollars equivalent to N300 million from Abubakar Aliyu and you thereby committed an offence as specified under Section 1 (a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 16 (2)(b)  of the same Act.”

In count two, the EFCC accused Adoke of making a payment of the sum of United States dollars equivalent to N367.318 million to one Usman Mohammed Bello and thereby committed an offence as specified under Section 1(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under  Section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act.

Also, the EFCC said that Adoke in September 2013 used the sum of N300 million when he knew that the said funds formed part of his unlawful activities to wit: payment of an amount exceeding stated threshold amounts outside a financial institution and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended).

Others are “that you Mohammed Bello Adoke on or about the 13th of September 2013, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this court, did cause to be made a structured cash payment in 13 tranches of a sum of money  totaling N50 million into your Unity Bank Plc account No. 0020153263, which sums you knew is part of an unlawful act, to wit: the payment of an amount exceeding stated threshold amounts outside a financial institution, intending to conceal the origins of the said funds, contrary to Section 15 (2 )(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 as amended and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act.”

Count five states “that you Mohammed Bello Adoke on or about the 16th of September 2013, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this court, did cause to be made a structured cash payment in 22 tranches of a sum of money totaling N80 million into your Unity Bank Plc account No. 0020153263, which sums you knew is part of an unlawful act, to wit: the payment of an amount exceeding stated threshold amounts outside a financial Institution, intending to conceal the origins of the said funds, contrary to section 15 (2 )(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 as amended and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act.”

Acting head of Media and Publicity of EFCC, Tony Orilade, confirmed that the charges have been filed against Adoke.

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