Court returns Adoke’s file to CJ over alleged $1.2b Malabu oil scam

Courtroom Court

Justice Othman Musa, of an FCT High Court, on Tuesday said he was returning the case file of Mohammed Adoke, former Attorney-General of the Federation to FCT chief judge.
Musa said this at the resumed sitting, scheduled for hearing of Adoke’s bail application, over the 1.2 billion dollars Malabu Oil scam.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had in 2017, filed charges against Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company Limited, Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, Adoke and 10 others over the matter.
EFCC in the suit marked FCT/HC/CR/124/17, accused the defendants of fraudulently allocating the Oil Prospecting Licence 245, otherwise known as Malabu Oil.
They were also accused of other forms of offences to the tune of about 1.2 billion dollars, forgery of bank documents, bribery and corruption.
The alleged money scam involved the transfer of the OPL 245, purportedly from Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, to Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company Limited and Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited.
Benson Igbanoi, counsel who represented Adoke, informed the court that he would not be able to move the bail application because the prosecution just served him with its preliminary objection.
“This morning, we were served with a counter affidavit to our motion filed on December 23,” he said.
“By reason of the facts raised in the counter affidavit, which call for further affidavits and also a need for reply on point of law, we are therefore constrained to ask for a short adjournment to enable us to respond accordingly.” Igbanoi prayed.
Responding, Bala Sanga, the prosecuting counsel, reminded the court that there is an existing order permitting the EFCC to detain Adoke for 14 days.
He said the order, which was granted on December 20, would expire on January 2, 2020.
Justice Musa, a vacation judge, said he would not be available to hear the application when the order expires.
He said he would return the case file to the chief judge for further action.
Adoke was picked up on December 19, by the INTERPOL on his arrival from Dubai at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, and handed over to the EFCC.
Musa had earlier granted the EFCC an order seeking to hold the former minister in its custody for 14 days.
The order was to enable the anti-graft agency conclude its investigation on Adoke over corruption allegations.