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Global Groups write Buhari, IG, fault Adoke on OPL 245 fraud charges

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An International Coalition of Anti-corruption Groups has asked the Inspector General of Police, IG, Adamu Abubakar to dismiss request for fresh investigation made by former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke on the OPL 245 oil fraud. Adoke had asked the IG to investigate the source of an important email that nailed him saying it was a red herring. A copy of the letter was sent to President Mohammadu Buhari.

In a letter to the Inspector General of Police, (IG), Adamu Abubakar, the world’s leading anti-corruption coalition dismissed Adoke’s claims saying that concrete evidence faults Adoke’s attempt to exonerate himself from the cobweb of graft running into hundreds of millions of dollars in the OPL 245 scam.

Adoke among many other was charged by EFCC to court in cases that established mind-bogging corruption running into billions of Naira with the controversial email providing a major source of evidence. Adoke had issued a statement through his lawyers saying the email may have been forged by “parties responsible for the petition, investigations and commencement of the criminal trial at the court of Milan”. But the global anti-corruption movement is tearing Adoke’s new position into shreds.

“There is an attempt by Adoke to create a safe passage in the face of overwhelming evidence against him. Asking the IG to investigate the email already entered into the Milan Tribunal” the coalition made up of Re-Common, The Corner House Human and Environmental Development Agenda, (HEDA) and Global Witness said in a letter addressed to the IG last week. The groups were responsible pulling off the lid to expose the can of worms in the OPL 245 dirty deals. The petition was signed by Executive Director, Re-Common, Mr Luca Manes

The coalition said the email was from an address associated with A Group Properties, a company owned by Aliyu Abubakar, who is also charged in Milan and Nigeria with offences related to the OPL 245 deal. It said the email was sent to an employee of JP Morgan Chase, the bank that held the proceeds of the deal on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria and that it was dully signed by a Mohammed Bello Adoke.

The coalition said “The email would certainly appear damaging to Mr Adoke, who is charged in Nigeria with a number of offences arising from the OPL 245 deal. Specifically, the email points to an association between a Mohammed Bello Adoke and the Abubakar company that subsequently arranged the purchase of a house for Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke . Moreover, that association is specifically tied to the OPL 245 deal through the email. It is therefore understandable that Mr Adoke should try to discredit the email.”

It noted that the email first came to light in 2021 as part of civil proceedings by the Federal Republic of Nigeria against JP Morgan Chase [JPMC] in the High Court in London, where it was disclosed by JPMC and cited in support of its claim and that the Milan Prosecutor obtained the email through legal means.

The coalition said the email, which was sent from an email account associated with A •Group Properties, was received by an employee of JPMC on 21 June 2011.

“At the time, none of our groups knew of the existence of A Group Properties, nor of the OPL 245 Resolution Agreements that were attached to the email. At the time, these Agreements were secret and would only have been accessible to parties to the deal, their associates and government officials. The existence of the Resolution Agreements did not come into the public domain until late 2011, months after the email was sent. This alone suggests that the email was sent by someone with official access to the documents”, the coalition said.

It argued that Adoke, through his lawyers, himself suggests a plausible explanation for the email that does not involve forgery, that it was sent by a government official as indicated in the press statement which stated that “Our client while in office had at least five aides working with him, and could have sent an email on his behalf assuming that Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke SAN was busy, or had issues with his email account”.

The coalition said despite this admission, Adoke makes no request for an investigation into this possibility.

The coalition said “The original email as received by JPMC will have properties and electronic information that would enable the identification of the IP address from which it was sent. Mr. Adoke failed to challenge this alleged forged document when it was submitted by the Milan Prosecutor to the Milan Court in the ongoing prosecution.”

It asks the IG to contact JPMC, the SFO of United Kingdom, Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Justice, the EFCC and the Milan Public Prosecutor to seek their verification of the origins of the email.

“We believe that Mr Adoke’s complaint to you is a deliberate attempt to pervert the course of justice and would request that you investigate. We would draw your attention to the fact that Mr. Adoke was repatriated from the United Arab Emirate by the Nigerian Government and that Messrs Adoke and Abubakar are facing potential trials in three different cases arising from the investigation of the OPL 245 case.

The group noted that in addition, the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) has recovered $78million related to the OPL 245 deal from the UK – money that was recovered as stolen assets while the Nigerian authority is also a civil party to the Milan trial.

The coalition said depending on the outcome of that trial, the Nigerian State stands to benefit potentially from substantial further compensation.

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JUDICIARY

NBA condemns attack on Delta court by thugs

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The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA , Warri Branch has condemned the attack on the Delta State High Court 4 by thugs in Warri South Local Government Area.

The NBA in a statement signed by its Chairman, Emmanuel .O. Uti and Mr. Joseph A Omonoseh, Secretary respectively expressed shock and sadness over the unprovoked attack and invasion by the thugs.

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The NBA noted that the act led to the disruption of court proceedings in a suit challenging the succession to the stool of the Olu of Warri Kingdom which was ongoing peacefully.

The NBA said the hoodlums who were armed with dangerous weapons, chased away judicial staff, litigants, lawyers including a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN who was representing one of the parties and disrupted the proceedings.

The NBA condemned the act describing it as despicable and a desecration of the hallowed temple of Justice.

“The NBA Warri branch condemns in totality this unprovoked attack and barbaric behaviour by the hoodlums/thugs and therefore calls on the Inspector General of Police, the Commissioner of Police, Delta State and the Director of State Security Services to immediately set up a team of investigators to unmask the perpetrators of this reprehensible act.

“We also call on Security Operatives to immediately set in motion measures to nip in the bud this ugly trend by providing adequate security in and around the Court premises in Delta State to prevent a reoccurrence of this ugly trend.

 

“We advise the players in the ongoing succession tussle to sheath their swords and allow peace and the law to take its full course as we cannot afford to see our peaceful and loving Warri Kingdom engulfed by the flames of crisis.”

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Police In Kaduna Warns Protesters Against Violating Due Process

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Kaduna State Commission of Police Umar Muri has warned all Interest Groups who want to protest in the state to consider following due process and avoid incessant high blockade, stressing that violators will be treated according to the extant statutory laws of the land.

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In a statement by the command’s public relations officer ASP Muhammad Jalige said the command acknowledged the flight of various communities affected by banditry and kidnapping

” The Command is using this medium to state that it is becoming very worrisome to the Command and other sister security agencies, the incessant blockade of the State’s connecting highways by various interest groups in the name of protest without vobserving due process,”NLC Sues For Security Agencies Intervention On El-Rufa’i’s Fresh Threat

” The Command is not unmindful of the security challenges faced by various communities in the State that is occasioned by risen cases of armed banditry and kidnapping which the top management and government are doing everything possible to restore normalcy to the affected areas. It is therefore necessary to be in the same page with all stakeholders and affected communities to ensure that the enemies of the State are defeated rather than working unilaterally by opposing one another, since particular challenges cannot be adequately tackled by creating additional challenge.” The statement stated,

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The statement said the Command is however, perturbed with the recent activities of some communities engaging in protest and the untoward blocking of highways with its attendant troubles for innocent commuters. emphasizing that such trend will not be tolerated and the acts will be viewed seriously according to extant laws of the land.

It added that the Command is working round the clock to ensure that normalcy is restored and would not fold it hands to be distracted in as much as protest cannot be seen as the solution to the current situation.

” The Command is therefore advising all interest groups and communities to always go through appropriate channel with their grievances as the Command’s door is always open to complaints and other security related issues from all quarters whereas insecurity is localized and the best approach to tackling it is by Police community engagement.

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Ensure Decorum, Civility in Your Engagement with Road Users, NUJ Urges Traffic Enforcement Agencies

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The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kano State Council has urged officials of Traffic police, KAROTA, Federal Road Safety Corp to ensure decorum and civility in their engagement with road users.

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This was contained in a Communique jointly signed by Council Chairman Comrade Abbas Ibrahim and Secretary Comrade Abba Murtala respectively and issued to journalists at the end of Council’s periodic congress held at the press center kano

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In the congress the union also called on security agencies to intensify efforts in bringing to an end the lingering problems of phone snatching and other criminality.

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The congress enjoined relevant state government agencies to take necessary action against individuals and organizations involved in hiking prices of food items, calling on related authorities to redouble efforts in the fight against the sales of expired, sub-standard and poisonous food/beverages in the state.

The congress advised farmers to focus their attention on food crops production as against that of cash crops production with a view to ensuring availability of food.

The NUJ appreciates the state government for redeploying professional teachers to public schools, calling on the government to pay more attention to schools in the rural areas.

The congress called on the Kano emirate council to intervene by stopping the unnecessary horse riding (KILISA) that constitute threat to the society.

The congress also appealed to members of pen pushing profession to always work within the boundaries of the profession for better service delivery.

In the communique the congress condoles with Maryam Yakasai over the death of her mother.

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