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FG files fresh charges against Adoke, others over Malabu oil deal

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Maybe arraigned today
The Federal Government has filed fresh 42-count charges against former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke and six others over alleged fraud in the $1.1 billion Malabu Oil deal.

In a charge number CR/151/2020, filed at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the Federal Government accused Adoke and others of receiving gratifications to facilitate a fraudulent oil deal.

It said during his tenure as AGF, Adoke negotiated controversial agreements that ceded OPL 245 to Shell and Eni who paid about $1.1 billion to accounts controlled by a former Petroleum Minister, Dan Etete.

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arrested Adoke at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja when he returned to the country on December 19, 2019 from Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) to where he fled after the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

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The EFCC had preferred charges against Adoke who left the country in 2015 for alleged abuse of office and money laundering in granting of Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 245 to Shell and ENI.

In the charge dated January 14 and filed on January 15, 2020, the Federal Government also charged Rasky Gbinigie, A. Abubakar, Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, as well as Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, Shell Ultra Deep Limited and Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Limited.

The EFCC claimed that the former AGF in August 2013 in Abuja while serving as a minister received United State dollars equivalent of N300 million, which is reasonably suspected to have been unlawfully obtained and thereby committed offence punishable under Section 319A of the Penal Code Cap. 532 laws of Nigeria 1990.

The charge, signed by Bala Sanga on behalf of the EFCC’s Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, also said Gbinigie conspired with Munamuna Seidougha, Amaran Joseph and Dauzia Loya Etete, who are at large, sometime in 2013 in Abuja to dishonestly used 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 to receive $401,540,000.

It also stated that the accused persons committed an offence contrary to section 366 of the Penal Code and punishable under it.

Adoke was said to have in September 2013, obtained US dollars equivalent of N367, 318, 800 and thereby committed an punishable under Section 319A of the Penal Code, Cap.532 laws of Nigeria 1990

The charges also stated that Gbinigie, who was company secretary of Malabu Oil at the time, gave a fake resignation letter signed by one Alhaji Hassan Hindu, as having resigned from the Board of Malabu Oil and Gas Limited with intent to commute fraud, among others.

The Guardian learnt that the defendants may be arraigned today.

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