The Attorney General’s office has not begun extradition proceedings against the former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke.
Mr. Adoke is wanted for questioning by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for his role in the Malabu oil scandal. The scandal involved an oil prospecting license deal which led to the Federal Government being paid only $210m out of the $2bn it was supposed to receive.
It will be recalled that SaharaReporters reported on March 17th, 2016 that the EFCC sent names of the Malabu scandal, including Mr. Adoke’s, to the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) for mutual police assistance.
Mr. Adoke received the request for questioning while he was abroad and has yet to return to Nigeria.
In a letter dated December 31, 2015 and addressed to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Mr. Adoke confirmed that he had been contacted by the anti-graft agency for questioning. In his letter, Mr. Adoke stated that he had asked the EFCC to reschedule his interview in order to give him time to finish his exams at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, where he was pursuing an advanced degree in international law. However, Mr. Adoke then decided to not honor the EFCC’s invitation because he claimed to be innocent and believed the commission was trying to “humiliate” him. It will be recalled that former Minister of State for Defense, Musiliu Obanikoro, has also stated that he studying for an advanced degree in the United States. Mr. Obanikoro has been under the microscope of the EFCC and other anti-graft organizations in Nigeria for accepting money connected to Dasukigate which was later used to fund the notorious Ekitigate election rigging in 2014.
Mr. Adoke said a group “with interest in the Malabu matter” has “joined forces with those desperate to malign me by using the present investigation by the EFCC to humiliate my person. My refusal to take a particular position they had sought and impressed upon me after the resolution of the matter was concluded is the root of all this blackmail.”
The Attorney General, Abubakar Malami, said his office is waiting for a request for assistance by the EFCC to begin extradition proceedings against Mr. Adoke.
“The EFCC has the power to make anybody answer questions with respect to an investigation and the AGF is always ready to render assistance to the commission where necessary. But the EFCC has not made any request to the AGF as far as the case of the former minister is concerned,” a source said.
Only the office of the Attorney General can initiate extradition proceedings against individuals abroad wanted in Nigeria.