Mohammed Bello Adoke, former attorney-general of the federation (AGF), has asked a federal capital territory (FCT) high court in Abuja to strike out his name from the OPL 245 case filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In an application filed before the court by his counsel, Mike Ozekhome, the former AGF said it is erroneous to include his name as a defendant in the suit when the federal high court in Abuja had already exonerated him from the matter.
Adoke said a ruling delivered by Binta Nyako, judge of the federal high court, on April 13, 2019 stated that he could not be held liable for carrying out lawful presidential orders in the $1.2 billion Malabu deal.
He accused the EFCC of concealing the fact of the case from the court.
An FCT high court had issued a warrant of arrest against Adoke and four others on April 17, 2019 following a request by the EFCC over the controversial OPL 245 deal executed by the federal government in 2011.
However, following an application by Adoke’s lawyers, the court, presided over by D. Z. Senchi, vacated the warrant on October 25, 2019, declaring it “null and void and of no effect whatsoever”.
In November, Adoke was held by Interpol in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, following confusion over the warrant of arrest that has already been vacated.
TheCable understands that the vacating order by Senchi was not transmitted to the Interpol.
In the new application, Ozekhome prays for “striking out the name of Bello Mohammed Adoke (SAN), as a defendant in charge number FCT/HC/CR/124/17, between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Co Ltd & 10 others, pending before this honourable court.”
“That the applicant (Adoke) had earlier in this charge, by motion contended that he has been exculpated with respect to the same facts and circumstances over which he was erroneously charged and the basis upon which the bench warrant was issued,” the application read.
“In considered ruling on October 25, 2019, His Lordship upheld the applicant’s contention and set aside the bench warrant issued against the applicant for want of jurisdiction.
“However, having declined jurisdiction, in respect of this charge in favour of the applicant, the honourable court did not strike out the name of the applicant from this charge as it no longer had jurisdiction to do so.”
The application is scheduled for hearing on December 2.