Ex-AGF, Adoke, explains role in $6m no-trial deal

Ex-AGF, Adoke, explains role in $6m no-trial deal

Former, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), has explained the circumstances surrounding the execution of all the Non-Prosecution Agreements signed in 2011.

Adoke in a statement personally signed by him said the deal was initiated by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), under the leadership of Chief (Mrs) Farida Waziri.

The Punch Newspaper had published a story entitled “EFCC to probe Adoke’s $ 6M no-trial deal with suspect” where it was stated that the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, had directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to probe the circumstances surrounding the deal reached by his predecessor, Adoke, not to prosecute a firm, Tidex Nigeria Limited, suspected of an alleged crime.

But, in his statement, the former AGF explained that it was the EFCC that initiated these settlements and nominated Mr. Godwin Obla (SAN), as the Lawyer to represent their interest in the negotiations that were conducted under auspices of the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

According to Adoke, it was when the negotiations were concluded to the satisfaction of all the parties that he signed on behalf of the Federal Government while Mr. Emmanuel Akomoye (then, Secretary to the EFCC) signed on behalf of the EFCC.

The former AGF also stated that a dispassionate investigation into the Tidex Nigeria Limited Non-Prosecution Agreement would reveal that the settlement was at the behest of the EFCC; the Secretary to the Commission, Mr. Emmanuel Akomaye, and EFCC nominated Attorney, Mr. Godwin Obla, SAN, duly represented the EFCC.

He further stated that investigation would also reveal that the penal fines imposed on Tidex Nigeria Limited were duly paid into a Federal Government designated account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and that he ‘’did not in any way derive any benefit whatsoever from the transaction’’.

The statement reads ‘’I would ordinarily have refrained from commenting on the issue knowing fully well that the circumstances surrounding the execution of all the Non-Prosecution Agreements signed in 2011, are known to relevant Agencies of Government including the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and the EFCC. But, since the aforementioned publication hit the newsstands, I have been inundated with calls from genuinely concerned Nigerian’s seeking to know what is responsible for these deliberate attempts to smear my name and bring me to public odium.

‘’My answer is simply that the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation did not initiate these settlements. It was the EFCC, under the Chairmanship of Chief (Mrs) Farida Waziri, OON that initiated these settlements and nominated Mr. Godwin Obla, SAN, as the Lawyer to represent their interest in the negotiations that were conducted under auspices of the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice. It was when the negotiations were concluded to the satisfaction of all the parties, that I signed on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria and Mr. Emmanuel Akomoye (then, Secretary to the EFCC) signed on behalf of the EFCC. The copies of the agreements are in the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and I believe with the EFCC as well.

‘’This was the procedure that was adopted in respect of all the settlements that were initiated by the EFCC in 2011 including those of Shell, Saipem, KBR, JGC, etc, that infracted the laws of the country. I reiterate my previous assurances to all concerned Nigerians that while in office, I conducted myself with the utmost decorum and ensured the observance of due process, transparency and accountability in all matters that were brought to my attention. This petition is clearly underpinned by the refusal of the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation, to be used during my tenure by the Nigerian Shareholders to settle personal disputes with their foreign partners.”

Adoke added that while he was concerned about negative media releases, he would remain calm knowing that the prevailing atmosphere has unwittingly created a fertile ground for witch-hunt and personal vendetta.

He expressed confident that in due time, ‘’the dark cloud that bestrode the horizon will disappear and Nigerians will become aware of the truth and be able to make value judgment on all these issues. Nigerians will then differentiate those who genuinely served their fatherland from those who sought public office for personal gain.’’


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Mohammed Bello Adoke

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