Nigeria’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has made egregious corruption claims against his predecessor, Mohammed Bello Adoke, while testifying for Nigeria in the ongoing P&ID case.
Malami, while testifying, said Adoke accompanied P&ID in making Nigeria lose the case.
He also accused Adoke to have received a bribe of more than $800,000.
In the declaration of Malami submitted to the United States District Court, Southern District Of New York, a copy which was obtained by SaharaReporters, the AGF made a number of statements clearly fingering Adoke as corruptly benefiting from the OPL 245 deal as he also added that he was being investigated in the P&ID corruption case in Nigeria.
Malami also said Adoke handpicked Nigeria’s counsel and refused to give them clear direction while handling the case.
He said, “Nigeria unfortunately has a history of endemic corruption at the highest levels of government. Corruption was particularly prevalent under the previous administration, and there are numerous examples of fraud and bribery on a massive scale from this period.
“The most notable example is the OPL 245 case, which involved an extraordinary series of events culminating in the release of US$1 billion held in an English escrow account to a company named Malabu, controlled by the former Petroleum Minister Daniel Etete. The Attorney General, Mr Adoke, received a substantial portion of these funds personally.
“Despite the high stakes of the Arbitration, the Attorney General at the time, Mr Mohammed Bello Adoke ("Mr Adoke"), who in 2019 was charged with facilitating a $1 billion bribery and fraud oil license scheme (with Mr Adoke himself pocketing more than $800,000) (See Ex 116), handpicked Nigeria's defense team.
“Recent investigations have confirmed that throughout the arbitration, neither Mr Adoke nor the petroleum minister provided proper direction to legal counsel.
“While to date we have not uncovered any direct evidence implicating Mr Adoke in the P&ID fraud, our investigations are [sic] ongoing.”
Malami also informed the court that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has commenced criminal charges against Adoke and those involved in the financial corruption scandal.
He stated that following the commencement of the Arbitration on August 22, 2012, Adoke assumed initial control of the arbitration including the selection of Nigeria's arbitrator (Chief Bayo Ojo), which was done through a letter sent by the Petroleum Ministry's legal adviser, Ibrahim H Dikko, On November 30, 2012.
“Although the selection of Chief Bayo Ojo was sent by the Petroleum Ministry, subsequent investigations have revealed that Mr. Adoke provided this instruction.
“In addition to directing the Petroleum Ministry to select Chief Bayo Ojo as the ministry's arbitrator, Mr. Adoke appointed Nigeria's solicitors and advocate in the Arbitration.
“The OPL 245 case involved large-scale corruption and fraud at the highest levels of Nigerian government, whereby Royal Dutch Shell used bribes to secure lucrative oil drilling rights in the southern Niger Delta.
“The EFCC brought charges against the former Nigerian officials and the major oil companies involved in the OPL 245 scheme. This includes Attorney General, Mr. Adoke, who EFCC charged with corruption and money laundering for receiving funds as payment for the negotiations he allegedly brokered between Shell, Italian oil company Eni, and Malabu Oil & Gas for OPL 245.
“The EFCC also charged former Minister of Petroleum Dan Etete with corruption for his role in fraudulently awarding the license to his own company in the first place as well as his involvement with Malabu. Both Shell and Eni have been charged,” Malami said.