The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has denied dropping Mohammed Bello Adoke from a key OPL 245 case — despite evidence to the contrary.
In the original case filed on December 21, 2016 with suit no FHC/ABJ/CR/268/2016, the name of the former attorney-general of the federation was No. 3 on the charge sheet.
However, when the defendants were arraigned on July 1, 2020, Adoke’s name was no longer on the charge sheet but the case number was the same: FHC/ABJ/CR/268/2016.
The charge sheet now has only eight defendants.
The charges were also increased from the original nine to 48.
In a statement issued on Friday in apparent reference to a story by TheCable, the EFCC said: “The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been drawn to some media reports claiming that the Commission has dropped charges of money laundering against former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke.
“The EFCC wishes to make it abundantly clear that, Mr. Adoke is standing trial in two separate courts: Federal High Court, Abuja before Justice Inyang Ekwo in Suit Number: FHC/ABJ/CR/39/2017 and FCT High Court, Gwagwalada before Justice Idris Kutigi in Suit Number: FCT/CR/151/2020.
“He was re- arraigned alongside an Abuja-based businessman, Aliyu Abubakar before Justice Ekwo on June 17, 2020 on seven-count charges, bordering on money laundering. The re-arraignment was occasioned by the transfer of the case from Justice Binta Nyako, before whom he was originally arraigned on February 8, 2020. Adoke was equally arraigned before Justice Kutigi alongside others on January 23, 2020 on 42-count charges bordering on the Malabu Oil scam.
“There is another subsisting case involving Malabu Oil & Gas Limited, Aliyu Abubakar and five companies allegedly involved in money laundering charges before Justice Ekwo. They were arraigned on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 in Suit Number: FHC/ABJ/CR/268/2016.
“Media reports about the removal of Adoke’s name from the “Wanted Persons’ List” by the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol), are unnecessary and misleading, since he had been arrested and facing trial already in Nigeria. A suspect cannot be on a “Wanted Persons’ List” and be facing trial in court at the same time.
“The EFCC wishes to reiterate its commitment to global best practices in its operations and would not be distracted from its assigned mandate of ridding the nation of all forms of economic and financial crimes.”
However, TheCable did not report that charges were dropped against him.
According to the report, his name was dropped from this particular case but other cases are still ongoing.