By October 26, the federal government has vowed it will arraign former justice minister and attorney-general of the federation involved in an oil-deal scam running to over $1 billion shared between officials of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Johnson Ojogbane, disclosed this on Tuesday in Abujam after the commission failed June 13 to arraign all the suspects in the Malabu oil scam that involved Shell, ENI, former AGF Mohammed Adoke, and according to Italian investigators, Jonathan himself.
The former president is being spared, though.
The EFCC charged Adoke and the two multinationals to court for their roles in the Malabu scam.
The money was paid by the oil firms into a Nigerian government account in London for OPL oil block OPL 245. The ex-AGF then authorised the transfer of of about $800 million of it into private accounts of Dan Etete, a former oil minister.
Adoke, has denied any wrongdoing, and at a point promised to turn himself in to the commission.
On the last adjourned date, the judge, Justice John Tsoho, fixed June 13 for arraignment of Adoke and the other co-defendants including Mr. Etete.
Ojogbane, however, said that the matter could not proceed because the EFCC has been unable to get Adoke and other defendants who are outside of the country.
“The government will take steps, in collaboration with the international police to locate them and bring them back to Nigeria through extradition, which is a very cumbersome process, but it will be done,” Ojogbane said.
He said the court adjourned the matter until October 26 after the court’s vacation to enable the process of bringing Mr. Adoke and others back to Nigeria to be intensified.
The EFCC in December 2016, charged nine suspects, including Mr. Adoke, over the purchase of OPL 245.
The Federal Government had also on March 2, filed fresh charges against Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company Limited and Agip Nigeria Exploration Limited, a subsidiary of ENI, for alleged complicity in the Malabu $1.1 billion scandal.
Among the suspects to be arraigned alongside Adoke, Etete and the two oil giants are Aliyu Abubakar, ENI Spa, Ralph Wetzels, Casula Roberto, Pujatti Stefeno, Burrafati Sebestiano and Malabu Oil and Gas.