Justice Danladi Senchi of the Federal High Court in Jabi, Abuja, on Wednesday ordered the arrest of Mr. Mohammed Adoke, an ex-Attorney-General of the Federation; Dan Etete, a former Minister of Petroleum Resources; and 4 others (Raph Wezels, Casula Roberto, Pujato Stefeno, Burrato Sebastino and Aliyu Abubakar).
The 6 of them were accused by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as major suspects in the $2.1billion Malabu Oil scam.
The charges against them bordered on fraudulent allocation of Oil Prospecting Licence 245 and money laundering to the tune of $1.2billion, forgery of bank documents, bribery and corruption.
The anti-graft commission on Wednesday told the judge through its lawyer, Aliyu Yusuf, that it needed an arrest warrant to enable it liaise with International Police Organisation to apprehend the suspects and make them appear before the court for arraignment on charges against them.
The EFCC lawyer further told the judge that the suspects still have pending court cases against them at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The scam involved the transfer of OPL 245 from Malabu Oil and Gas Limited to Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company Limited and Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited.
The 3 companies involved in the scam are also defendants in the charges before the court.
“That arraignment of the defendants in this case couldn’t take place because the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th defendants/respondents are at large and have refused to make themselves available.
“That all efforts to apprehend the fleeing defendants/respondents proved abortive.
“That in furtherance of efforts to apprehend the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th defendants/respondents , the EFCC contacted the Nigeria Police to assist in watch-listing them and facilitating their arrest.
“That the Nigeria Police in response requested detailed particulars and necessary process to enable them to liaise with INTERPOL, and other relevant sister organisations have insisted that in addition to having a pending charge before a competent court, there must be warrant of arrest to enable the organisations to apprehend the defendants.
“That granting this application will facilitate the required liaison with INTERPOL and ensure that the defendants/respondents are apprehended and produced before the court for their arraignment on the charges filed against them,” the EFCC affidavit reads.
EFCC working with International Police to ensure the arrest of Etete and Adoke
Tony Orilade, the spokesman for the EFCC, has revealed that the anti-graft agency would work with Interpol to ensure the arrest of the former AGF and former Petroleum Minister.
“We are working with Interpol, we are collaborating with them to arrest the men. Remember the Interpol Secretary-General, Jurgen Stock, visited us yesterday (on Tuesday) and they have promised to work with us. We are also ready to work with them. We are relying on Interpol to get them (Etete and Adoke) for us,” he said.
Adoke speaks on arrest warrant against him
TheCable following the arrest warrant issued against Adoke revealed that the former AGF vowed to fight the order against him in court because he had done nothing wrong.
“The honourable judge was misled by the EFCC to grant the warrant. Justice Binta Nyako ruled in April 2018 that I was only carrying out a presidential order in the OPL 245/Malabu transaction and that I had no case to answer. That naturally ends the EFCC case against me but the agency has chosen this path and I will use all legal means to exonerate myself,” he reportedly said.