The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it will ensure that Mohammed Adoke, former attorney-general of the federation, will in due time be extradited to face criminal charges for his alleged involvement in the Malabu oil deal scandal.
This was made known by Johnson Ojogbane, counsel to the EFCC, on Tuesday in Abuja.
Adoke, alongside two oil companies, Shell and ENI, has been charged to court by the EFCC over a $1.1 billion paid by the oil companies in order to purchase an oil block, OPL 245 from the Nigerian government.
Reports have it that about $800 million of the money, which was initially paid into a Nigerian government account, was later diverted into the private accounts of Dan Etete, former petroleum minister. The diversion was allegedly approved by Adoke.
Several top government officials were said to have benefited from the largesse, including former President Goodluck Jonathan, who according to foreign investigators, may have received up to $400 million.
Though the EFCC has charged Adoke and nine other defendants, including Etete, Shell and Eni to court, the case is yet to fully begin due to the fact that the Adoke has not been in the country.
Justice John Tsoho of the federal high court Abuja had fixed the arraignment of the accused persons for June 13, but EFCC lawyer, Ojogbane, told NAN that the case could not proceed because the most of the defendants were at large.
He said: “The matter was adjourned until today for arraignment of the defendants, but up till now, we have not been able to secure the attendance of most of the defendants, because they are outside jurisdiction, that is they are outside the country.
“The Federal Government is doing everything within its powers to bring them back to Nigeria so that they can face their trial.
“The government will take steps, in collaboration with the international police (INTERPOL) to locate them and bring them back to Nigeria through extradition, which is a very cumbersome process, but it will be done.”
Ojogbane added that the case had been adjourned until October 26 after the court’s vacation to enable the prosecution intensify the extradition process.
Adoke, who is currently on self-exile abroad, had expressed fears from his base that he may not get fair treatment from the Nigerian government.
He later approached the court asking it to declare that whatever part he played in the Malabu oil deal was in response to the directive of President Jonathan.
In an affidavit filed before the federal high court Abuja, Kanu Agabi, Adoke’s lawyer, noted “that at all time material the plaintiff (Adoke) carried out the Presidential directive diligently, faithfully, impartially and in good faith and without any personal gain to himself nor to any other person except as was agreed to by the known parties to the parties.