By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA—The Federal Government yesterday slammed fresh criminal charges against immediate past Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, SAN, former Minister of Petroleum, Dan Etete and nine others, before an Abuja High Court over their alleged involvement in oil bloc fraud.
Also cited as defendants in the suit marked CR/124/17 and dated February 28, were Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company Ltd, Nigeria Agip Exploration Ltd, Aliyu Abubakar, ENI SPA, four Italians, Ralph Wetzels, Casula Roberto, Pujatti Stefeno, Burrafati Sebestiano and Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd.
Government alleged that Etete, Adoke, Abubakar and Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd, had sometime in 2000, corruptly received the sum of $801,000,000.00 (Eight hundred and one million Dollars) in relation to the grant of oil prospecting license in respect of OPL 245 from Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company, Nigeria Agip Exploration Ltd, and ENI SPA.
OPL 245 is regarded as one of the biggest oil blocs in Africa.
According to the three-count charge which was filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the defendants committed an offence contrary to section 26 of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under section 12 of the same Act.
FG had earlier initiated nine-count criminal charge against Adoke and eight others over the same oil bloc scam, before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Other defendants in the initial charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/268/2016, were Etete and Aliyu who is an oil mogul.
Six firms- Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd, Rocky Top Resource Ltd, Imperial Union Ltd, Novel Properties & Development Company Ltd, Group Construction Ltd and MegaTech Engineering Ltd, were also joined as defendants in the matter.
MEETING: From left; Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former Governor of Anambra State; DIG Hilary Opara; Deputy President General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide and Senator Ike Nwachukwu during the meeting of South East and South South leaders and dinner for New President General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide at Chief E.K. Clark’s house in Apapa, Lagos, yesterday. Photo by Diran Oshe.