Following the filing of a nine-count charge against him over his role in the Malabu $1.1 billion Malabu oil deal by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, has accused unnamed and vengeful powerful forces as his traducers.
His words in a statement: “The charge of aiding the commission of money laundering offences preferred against me has finally confirmed the orchestrated plans to bring me to public disrepute in order to satisfy the whims and caprices of some powerful interests on revenge mission.”
Those charged with Adoke are former Petroleum Minister, Dan Etete, a businessman, Abubakar Aliyu as well as a former Minister of State, Finance, Mr. Yerima Ngama. Adoke and Ngama were alleged to have approved the transfer of about $1.1 billion into Nigerian accounts controlled by Mr. Etete.
The said amount was said to have been paid by oil giants, Shell and ENI, into the Federal Government account for OPL 245 oil bloc, which was considered the richest in Africa.
After the transfer to Etete, over half of the money was paid to accounts of shady companies controlled by Aliyu.
Adoke’s full statement reads:RE: OPL 245 SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT AND THE FILING OF CHARGES AGAINST ME BY THE EFCC
My attention has been drawn to the charges filed by the EFCC against me and other named individuals and companies in respect of OPL 245Settlement Agreement involving Malabu Oil & Gas Limited and Shell
Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited. The charge of aiding the commission of
money laundering offences preferred against me has finally confirmed
the orchestrated plans to bring me to public disrepute in order to
satisfy the whims and caprices of some powerful interests on revenge
I wish to reiterate that I acted within the actual and ostensible
authority of the Office I occupied to broker a settlement between
Malabu Oil & Gas Limited and Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited in order
to ward off the over US$2 Billion Dollars liability in damages for
breach of contract which the country would have been exposed to in the
likely event of the success of Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited’s
claim before the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment
The Terms of Settlement ensured that the interests of the Federal
Government of Nigeria, Malabu Oil & Gas Limited and Shell Nigeria
Ultra Deep Limited were duly acknowledged and provided for in the
Settlement Agreement. The Federal Government of Nigeria was entitled
to the Signature bonus which was duly paid; Malabu Oil & Gas Limited
surrendered its title to OPL 245 for a consideration and Shell Nigeria
Ultra Deep Limited was re-allocated OPL 245 which its had previously
substantially de-risked in consideration for withdrawing their over
US$ 2 Billion Dollars claim for breach of contract against the Federal
Government of Nigeria.
Since the Parties aforementioned, faithfully discharged their
respective obligations under the Settlement Agreement, one cannot
comprehend how the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation
which brokered the Settlement was expected to renege from the
agreement by denying Malabu Oil & Gas Limited the benefits associated
with the relinquishing of their title to OPL 245 already warehoused in
a joint FGN/Shell Escrow account, or to prevent the subsequent
re-allocation of the relinquished OPL 245 to Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep
Limited when the company had already furnished consideration for it
to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
I am of the respectful view that it should be clear to any person
dispassionately reviewing the transaction to confirm that I had no
personal interest in the transaction; I did not take any benefit from
it, I had requisite approvals from the President and Commander in
Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to broker the settlement and
execute the OPL 245 Settlement Agreement. I am therefore unable to
rationalize the charge of aiding the commission of money laundering
offences preferred against me by the EFCC. But be that as it may, I
hope to at the appropriate time make myself available to defend the
charge for what whatever its worth.