The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been given an additional 14 days to keep former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, prior to his arraignment.
Justice A.O. Musa of the Federal Capital Territory High Court gave the extension. Adoke, until Thursday, had been on a 14-day court-approved detention order.
The Commission took custody of Adoke on December 19, 2019, upon his arrival from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Adoke went on exile in 2015, has pending criminal charge of alleged abuse of office and money laundering in respect of the granting of the Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 245 to Shell and ENI.
It would be recalled that the government of former President Olusegun Obasanjo revoked the OPL 245, which the late General Sani Abacha granted Dan Etete, his then Petroleum Minister, and reassigned it to Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, SNEPCO.
Etete’s Malabu Oil and Gas, however, reclaimed the oil block in 2006 through the court. While Shell challenged the decision, an alleged settlement and resolution was consummated under President Goodluck Jonathan’s government, with Shell and ENI buying the oil block from Malabu in the sum of $1.1billion.
Investigations by the EFCC into the deal revealed alleged crimes that border on conspiracy, forgery of bank documents, bribery, corruption and money laundering to the tune of over $1.2 billion against Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep (SNUD), Nigeria Agip Exploration (NAE) and their officials, culminating in criminal charges against Adoke, Etete and others, which are pending in both the FCT High Court and the Federal High Court, Abuja
The absence of the defendants, the EFCC claims, slowed the prosecution of the suspects, forcing the EFCC to obtain an arrest warrant against them on April 17, 2019.
Adoke, however, arrived the country on Thursday, December 19, 2019 from Dubai, United Arab Emirates into the waiting arms of EFCC operatives at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
His return, the commission says, has now cleared the way for him to answer to the charges against him.
Justice Musa adjourned the case to enable its assignment by the Chief Judge.