dark

I’ve been vindicated again over OPL 245 judgement, says Adoke

Mohammed Adoke

A former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, says he has been vindicated yet again over the latest judgement by a British court on the OPL 245 deal in Nigeria.

Adoke, in a statement yesterday, said he was not expecting a “contrary judgment” but lamented that he has been “unjustly defamed locally and internationally, and my livelihood has been taken from me” as a result of “political persecution”.

His excitement followed the judgment of the Commercial Court of England and Wales, which ruled that there was no evidence of fraud in the OPL 245 transaction.

In the judgement made public on Tuesday, Sara Cockerill ruled that the Nigerian government could not prove its case.

The federal government had sued JP Morgan on the ground of “Quincecare duty”, alleging that the bank “ought to have known” that there was corruption and fraud in the transaction, which saw Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd sell its 100% stake in OPL 245 to Shell and ENI for $1.1 billion in 2011.

The Nigerian lawyers had argued that Adoke, who offered the legal advice to President Goodluck Jonathan leading to the resolution agreements in 2011, was corrupt and that the OPL 245 deal was fraudulent.

Shell and ENI had paid a total of $1.3 billion to Nigeria’s account at JP Morgan — $801 million for Malabu, the original OPL 245 allottee, and $210 million as signature bonus to the federal government.

All attempts by the government to prove that there was corruption in the OPL 245 deal have so far proved fruitless, as similar judgments were pronounced by an Italian court in March 2021 as well as the US Department of Justice (DoJ) in October 2019.

I am particularly pleased with the outcome of the suit because if it were to be the Nigerian courts, I would have been accused of buying justice by my traducers, who are hell-bent on tarnishing my name and destroying me for political reasons.

Adoke’s statement

Adoke’s statement reads in part: “I received with delight the news of the 137-page judgment of the Commercial Court of England and Wales in Case No CL-2017-000730 between the Federal Government of Nigeria and JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. delivered on June 14, 2022, declaring yet again that there is no evidence of fraud in the OPL 245 transaction. Although I was not expecting a contrary judgment knowing well that I did no wrong and I served Nigeria with all honesty and every sense of duty and patriotism, it is very gratifying that foreign courts have declared over and over again that there were no fraudulent or corrupt practices involved in the OPL 245 Settlement Resolution.

“Although I was not a party in the suit, the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, caused all manner of false depositions to be made against me to paint the transaction with the tar of corruption to justify the spurious criminal proceedings instituted against me in Nigeria. I am particularly pleased with the outcome of the suit because if it were to be the Nigerian courts, I would have been accused of buying justice by my traducers, who are hell-bent on tarnishing my name and destroying me for political reasons….

“But, as I have constantly reiterated, every action taken by me concerning the resolution of the controversies around OPL 245 and the eventual transfer of the oil block from Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd to Shell and ENI was done with the requisite Presidential Directives/Approvals and the best intentions for Nigeria. This much was acknowledged in the 2018 Judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja Coram B.N. Nyako, J, where the court stated that I could not be held personally liable for carrying out the lawful directives/approvals of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.  I did not demand or receive any form of bribe or gratification from the Parties to the OPL 245 Settlement Agreement. Yet, the Federal Government of Nigeria has outrightly ignored the subsisting judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja and proceeded to file spurious criminal charges against me ostensibly to sustain their claim against JP Morgan Chase Bank with the hope of reaping from an undeserved windfall….”

Total
0
Shares
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous Post

Delta Assembly approves Okowa’s request of N25bn facility

Next Post

ECOWAS pushes launch of single currency to 2027

Related Posts
Total
0
Share