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Malabu Oil Scandal: Adoke to Sue Italian Prosecutor over Alleged Defamation



Former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, SAN, has disclosed plans to commence legal action against an Italian prosecutor, Dr Sergio Spadaro for linking him with the OPL 245 scam, otherwise known as Malabu Oil.

Adoke, in a statement issued by his solicitors in the United Kingdom, specifically accused the prosecutor of deliberate lies in order to implicate him in the ongoing criminal trial of Shell and ENI in Milan, Italy.

In the statement issued by one Femi Oboro of GROMYKO AMEDU Solicitors in London, the former AGF also denied ownership of a property in Abuja, the prosecutor had claimed was purchased with his (Adoke) alleged share from the Malabu Oil deal.

In the statement titled, “The Many Lies of the Milan Prosecutor”, Mr Oboro stated that, “Although, our client is not on trial in Italy, it would appear the Italian prosecutors, in their bid to get Shell and ENI convicted, no longer have any regard for the truth and are ready to destroy anyone just to achieve their aim.

The statement noted Spadaro in his submissions to the court, on July 2, was mischievous when he said that a property valued at N700 million was sold to Adoke by Alhaji Aliyu Abubakar, owner of Carlin International Nigeria Ltd, for N500 million.

“He also said our client paid only N300 million with a mortgage from Unity Bank for the property. He said the difference of N200 million was a gift to our client, suggesting that it was a proceed of crime. It is our client’s contention that these allegations are completely false. The facts have been twisted and material facts have been hidden from the court in the most unprofessional manner.

Oboro explained that Adoke had obtained a mortgage of N300m to purchase the property which was offered to him for N500 million but the deal could not sail through because he could not raise the balance of N200 million.

“However, as the Italian prosecutors also discovered in their forensic investigation, our client could not come up with the N200 million equity contribution to Carlin International Nigeria Ltd. Indeed, he had to pay interests and penalties on the mortgage because it was not performing. With our client’s inability to pay, Carlin International Nigeria Ltd sold the property to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and refunded the N300 million mortgage to Unity Bank.

“Alhaji Aliyu Abubakar then retrieved the Certificate of Occupancy from Unity Bank and our client’s mortgage account was closed. Most of the facts were confirmed by the prosecution witness, Mr Ferri Alessandro, in the Milan court.

“To our client’s surprise, the Italian prosecutors, led by Dr Fabio De Pasquale, continue to create the false impression that the property belongs to him, thereby concealing the material fact that he never took possession of the house. This lie has now been repeated by Spadaro. This is very unprofessional. Our Client has instructed us as his lawyers to report them to the Italian bar for professional misconduct”, the statement read.

The statement however noted that the Italian prosecutor, is not in this alone but has a Nigerian collaborator in the person of Mr Olanrewaju Siraj, a human rights activist and anti-corruption campaigner in Nigeria.

Adoke while handing over Mr Siraj to God for judgment however said his consolation in all the mischief by the Italian prosecutors is that they at least agreed that he took N300 million mortgage from Unity Bank and that the money was eventually returned to the bank.

“This fact is very important because the impression that mischief makers have been creating about him is that the N300 million was a kickback in the OPL 245 deal. The Italian prosecutors have now documented with the Milan court that, indeed, the N300 million was a mortgage from Unity Bank. They have also acknowledged that he paid interest on the mortgage. They have further acknowledged that the N300 million was returned to the bank”, the statement read, adding that ownership of the property in question is not difficult to prove since the owner CBN, is a government institution.

Adoke also expressed thanks to the Italians for, “Their gradual backhanded exoneration of his name which they have been maligning globally since 2015”.

“It is our client’s position that to the glory of God, nobody has traced any private jet or Phantom to him. No property, home or abroad, has been traced to him. No bank account has been frozen. The Italians have searched everywhere and they cannot find anything incriminating. That is why they keep making up stories. Money trail is the easiest thing to uncover in the world. You cannot collect $801 million bribe and hide it. You cannot hide N300 million. If indeed he was involved in money laundering, they will have stumbled on the evidence in the last five years when this persecution started.

“The documentary evidence with the Italians clearly shows these facts: (1) the property was offered to our client for N500 million (2) Unity Bank gave him a mortgage of N300 million towards it (3) He couldn’t make his equity contribution of N200 million (4) The property was then sold to the CBN as far back as 2013 (5) The N300 million mortgage was returned to Unity Bank by Alhaji Aliyu Abubakar in 2013 (6) He never took possession of the property. All these are indisputable facts.

“By this press statement, it is our client’s instruction that we serve notice to the Italian prosecutors that he will meet them in court at some point because he will not allow these despicable and evil lies go unchallenged”, Oboro added..

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Fuel Subsidy Removal: FG, Labour Meeting Ends in Deadlock




Talks between the Federal Government and organised labour over the removal of fuel subsidy ended in a deadlock on Wednesday as they failed to reach a consensus following the hike in petrol pump prices to over N700 from N195 per litre by oil marketers.

The hours-long meeting which was held at the Presidential Villa was to, among other things, prevent a labour crisis following the recent increase in the petrol pump price occasioned by the discontinuance of petroleum subsidy.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited said it had adjusted the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit to reflect the market realities. The agency, however, failed to state the new prices of petrol.

However, several retails outlets sold the product between 600 and N800 in Lagos, Abuja , Ogun and some other states.

The National Public Relations Officer, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Chinedu Ukadike, pointed out that the hike in the cost of PMS would trigger galloping inflation in the country, stressing that some outlets in the South-East were currently dispensing the product at N1,200/l.

Ukadike stated, “Once NNPCL retail stations have adjusted their pumps to reflect the new price, there is nothing you can do about it; that is the new price. As I speak with you, all of them are now selling at the new prices. The situation is so bad, that somewhere in Ebonyi State our members informed us that it is now N1,200/litre.

“We thought the President would remove the subsidy through a seamless means because the source of this petrol is the NNPCL. They are the ones subsidising petroleum products, they are the people who use their revenue to subsidise this product.’’

The IPMAN spokesperson expressed worry over the rate of increase in inflation and hardship that would come as a result of the latest hike in petrol price.

“This hike in petrol price will definitely lead to galloping inflation and will worsen the hardship already being faced by the Nigerian masses. It is not something to cheer about. It came as a surprise and in the coming days, we will see the very harsh ripple effects,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Ukadike has called on the Federal Government and the NNPCL to give other marketers the opportunity to start importing petrol in order to create competition in the sector.

“The NNPCL is importing and has not given people the opportunity to join them in importing so as to see whether private sector operators can import the product cheaper or not. So there is no competition. In a deregulated regime, there must be competition, everyone with capacity should be allowed to import,” the IPMAN official stated.

When asked whether other marketers could resume imports since the government had finally deregulated petrol prices, Ukadike replied, “Marketers can import, but let me tell you some of the factors militating against this. The first is that there won’t be availability of dollars.

“You will source your dollar from the parallel market and if you are not careful in doing this, and you go into the importation of petroleum products, you might not ‘come out of it alive’ at the end of the day.

“So what we are saying is that those advantages that NNPCL has, should be shared with other major importers of petroleum products. If it is through crude buy-back, they should let us know so that independent players such as IPMAN members can come together and be able to use it in the buy-back model.’’

He added, “For independent marketers, the most important thing is that there should be availability of petroleum products, and the government should open up the space for importers and investors to come in.”

NNPCL, the sole importer of petrol into Nigeria for several years running, confirmed the hike in petrol price in a statement and a new pricing template released to marketers nationwide.

But the move has sparked a groundswell of anger across the nation with the Nigeria Labour Congress demanding an immediate reversal of the decision.

The union also said it would hold an emergency meeting on Friday on the fuel price increase which had triggered hoarding and scarcity across the country with attendant rise in transport fares, goods and services.

The fuel price hike by the oil firm is coming 72 hours after President Bola Tinubu declared in his inaugural address on Monday that the subsidy regime had ended.

To pacify the growing anger over the situation, the FG hastily summoned some labour leaders to a meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday evening.

The meeting had in attendance the NLC President, Joe Ajaero and his Trade Union Congress counterpart, Festus Osifo, former NLC President and immediate past governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar, Head of Service of the Federation, Dr Folashade Yemi-Esan, Group Chief Executive Officer of the NNPCL, Mele Kyari, and others, however, ended in a deadlock as the labour and government teams failed to reach a consensus.

Speaking at the end of the meeting, Joe Ajaero, said “As far as labour is concerned, we didn’t have a consensus in this meeting.”

He faulted the NNPCL over an official release published hours earlier reviewing the petrol pump price in its filling stations nationwide.

He said the move puts the labour unions in a difficult position on the negational table.

“That’s the principle of negotiation. You don’t put the partner, ask them to negotiate under gunpoint. The prayer of the NLC is that we go back to the status quo, negotiate, think of alternatives and all the effects and how to manage the effects this action is going to have on the people. If it is an action that must take off.

“The subsidy provision has been made up to the end of June. And before then, conscious people, labour management, and the government should be able to think of what will happen at the end of June. You don’t start it before the time,” Ajaero said.

The Punch

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Breaking: Founder, DAAR Communications, Raymond Dokpesi is Dead




By Eric Elezuo

The Founder of DAAR Communications, owners of the foremost radio and television stations in Nigeria, Raypower and African Independent Television (AIT), High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, is dead.

Reliable sources said the High Chief died while exercising on a treadmill on Monday afternoon.

The source said Dopkesi suffered a stroke some weeks ago.

Details soon…

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I Stand on Rule of Law, with Our Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, PDP, Says Dele Momodu




By Eric Elezuo

Frontline journalist and Director of Strategic Communications of the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Council in the just concluded Presidential election, Chief Dele Momodu, had said that he remains a loyal member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and will always stand on the side of rule of law, and with the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

Momodu made the revelations in a statement he signed himself, noting that the last election, which brought Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to power, was savagely manipulated by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

He praised the steps Atiku, and the presidential candidate of the Labour candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, have taken in seeking legal redress.

The statement in details:


My position on the state of our country NIGERIA is simple and straightforward. I’m a loyal member of PDP who owes absolute allegiance to Nigeria and its Rule of Law. My political party PDP and others passionately hold the view that the last Presidential election was savagely manipulated by the ruling party APC and the cases are already in courts. Nothing will make me abandon my party on the altar of convenience and profit. Win or lose, I will continue to stand on this principle without any malice or prejudice against those who think otherwise. Democracy is a game of choice and I’m resolutely standing by our candidate, the former Vice President ALHAJI ATIKU ABUBAKAR (GCON) who has taken the honorable and peaceful step of going to court to seek redress. This is the only way we can deepen our hard earned Democracy. Sacrifice is not always convenient but painful.

I salute and respect The Wazirin Adamawa and others like my dear friend and Brother, former Governor Peter Obi, the Labor Party Presidential candidate, for promoting the best tenets of Democracy in Nigeria and I’m willing to encourage them rather than discourage their onerous quests…


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