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$2b Malabu oil block deal: Adoke’s accounts under probe

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Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 11.23.39Posted By: Yusuf AlliMarch 16, 2016

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has started investigating the accounts and transactions of a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke(SAN).

Some past public officers are also being probed over the $2billion Malabu oil block deal.

It was learnt that the anti-graft agency is also trying to establish from Adoke’s bankers whether the ex-minister owns safe deposit boxes.

A similar anti-graft agency in The Hague, Netherlands was confirmed yesterday to have searched Adoke’s residence following collaboration with the EFCC.

The former minister, who is a post-graduate student in the Netherlands, insists that he is not on the run but will not be able to report to the EFCC until after the completion of his course in August.

It was unclear yesterday if the EFCC will wait till August before quizzing Adoke.

There were many options open to the agency, said a source.

According to the source, the EFCC has been closing in on all those connected with the award and resolution of the Malabu oil block.

The source said: “The anti-graft agency is looking into some accounts and transactions of ex-AGF Adoke and a few others connected with Malabu oil block. This is a standard practice in an investigation like this.

“In fact, EFCC operatives have asked Adoke’s bankers whether or not the ex-minister is operating safe deposit boxes.

“All these actions were taken as preliminary steps towards preparation for the interrogation of the ex-minister.”

Responding to a question, the source added: “The EFCC has actually invited Adoke and it is waiting for him.

“But do not forget, this case has international dimension because some International Oil Companies (IOCs) were involved in the oil block palaver.

“An agency in Netherlands, which is collaborating with the EFCC, has searched Adoke’s house in The Hague too.”

Following an enquiry, an aide of the ex-minister quoted Adoke as saying: “I am not on the run, I will report to the EFCC immediately after my graduation in August. I will not stay a day after my graduation.

“I have written to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo but I will appear before EFCC to clarify any issue.”

Asked to make a few clarifications, the aide added: “Some security agents have searched Adoke’s residence in Netherlands and nothing was found.

“Oga will soon be at home for interaction, enough of media  and presumptive trial. He is aware that his bankers have been contacted by the EFCC and he has given instructions to them to release all information needed.”

The EFCC has been probing clues on alleged underhand deals in the resolution of the controversy surrounding OPL 245, which was allocated to Malabu Oil and Gas Limited in April 1998.

It was learnt that the ongoing probe was buoyed by the claim of the late Head of State Gen. Sani Abacha’s family that there were unresolved issues.

The family owned firm, Pecos Energy Limited and Mohammed Sani (aka Mohammed Sani Abacha) had  through a letter dated 20th January 2010 from A.A Umar & Co., claimed  that they bought OPL 245 from Malabu Oil and Gas Limited for US$ 1.3billion and that Malabu had without their knowledge disposed of their interests in OPL 245 to Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited (SNUD).

It was gathered that the ruling of a judge in London in December has left some windows for investigation.

Justice Edis of the Southwark Crown Court, London, on December 14, last year, stopped the payment of N17billion to Malabu Oil.

The judge said he was “not sure that the Goodluck Jonathan administration acted in the interest of Nigeria by approving the transfer of the money to Malabu”.

He said: “I cannot simply assume that the FGN which was in power in 2011 and subsequently until 2015 rigorously defended the public interest of the people of Nigeria in all respects.”

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