The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has called for independent probe in a case involving the former Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Mohammed Adoke and counterpart in the Petroleum Ministry, Dan Etete over alleged $1.2bn money laundering.

In a release issued on behalf of the Executive Chairman of the anti-graft organization, Mr. Debo Adeniran, by the Media and Publications Officer, Toyin Odofin, he stated that “A prima facie case bordering on official corruption was established by the anti-graft Commission following investigations; culminating in court charges against Adoke, Dan Etete and others, which is still pending before the Federal Capital Territory High Court and the Federal High Court in Abuja. The case centered on the 2011 sale of the Nigerian oil license OPL 245, where the charges focus on the transfer of $801m in proceeds of the deal, facilitated by Adoke, into bank accounts controlled by Dan Etete. The charges were filed at the Federal High court.

However, It is heart-lifting that after many years since the Malabu Oil scam broke open whereby some Nigerian dignitaries and nationales of other countries were involved in fraudulent allocations of the Oil Prospecting License 245 and money laundering, forgery of bank documents, bribery and corruption under former President Goodluck Jonathan administration, where a principal suspect, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN) served as the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

According to the EFCC, the charges bordered on fraudulent allocation of the  Oil Prospecting Licence 245 and money laundering involving the sum of about $1.2bn, forgery of bank documents, bribery and corruption. Mr. Adoke has been living outside Nigeria since 2015, when the President Goodluck Jonathan administration that he served as the AGF left office.  The prosecutor has not been able to apprehend the former minister and the rest of the suspects since 2016 when the charges were instituted against them”. The alleged $1.2bn scam involved the transfer of the OPL 245 purportedly from Malabu Oil and Gas Limited to Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Co. Limited and Nigeria  Agip Exploration Limited

The arraignment of Adoke, Etete and others could not take place because they, along with other defendants, have remained at large, refusing to make themselves available for trial.

It is a great step forward with the anti-graft showing that anti-graft agencies are serious about tackling corruption, CACOL hereby challenge the former Attorney General of the Federation to present himself for trial instead of throwing the kite of persecution and victimization as he has been doing throughout the saga.

The CACOL Boss added, “It is against this background that many of our economy watchers, outside and within the country, advocated for more stringent punishments and sanctions against those looters and thieves who continually perpetrate these heists with the belief that grand corruption is still a bailable offence in Nigeria and so, they could easily get away with it. While CACOL may seriously frown against Capital punishment as a deterrent unlike obtainable in some climes, we believe that for Nigeria to be reasonably ridded of this menace or ogre of corruption, no offender should go away unpunished, irrespective of his or her political cum economic status. As a matter of fact, such high profile officials should attract sterner punishments as the saying is, ‘To whom much is given, much is certainly expected.”