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Malabu Oil Scam: Adoke Floors EFCC As Court Discharges ex-AGF, others

TheCapital.ng 2024/4/12
Malabu Oil Scam: Adoke Floors EFCC As Court Discharges ex-AGF, others

A Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court discharged a former Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, Mohammed Bello Adoke, and six others after dismissing charges filed against them over the controversial Oil Prospecting Licence, OPL, 245, otherwise known as Malabu Oil scam.

Recalls that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, dragged Adoke and other defendants before the court on an amended 40-count charge bordering on disobeying direction of the law, offering and receiving gratification, conspiracy and forgery, among others.

Adoke, who served as AGF and Minister of Justice under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, was prosecuted by EFCC in the suit marked FCT/HC/CR/151/2020.

Other accused persons are Aliyu Abubakar, Rasky Gbinigie, Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, Shell Nigeria Extra Deep Limited and Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company Limited.

Ruling on the no-case submission filed by the defendants, Justice Abubakar Kutigi held that any trial processes are evidence driven but the prosecution failed to produce certain documents or call some witnesses to prove its case.

He further held that the prosecution has failed to prove the essential elements of the offences the defendants were charged with before the court.

According to him, though the defendants were constitutionally presumed to be innocent, to establish prima facie case against them, the prosecution had to produce sufficient evidence to warrant the court to call on them to enter their defence.

Justice Kutigi held that in the current case, the prosecution failed to establish any prima facie case against the defendants.

He cited the situation whereby about three counts involved forgery, yet the prosecution failed to tender relevant documents as exhibits.

The judge further held that a charge must not be filed for the purpose of doing so, submitting that frivolous charge does damage to the judicial system.

He commended the prosecution counsel for accepting in his final written address that no case has been made by the prosecution against the defendants.

Justice Kutigi, however, lamented that it took the prosecution four years before realising it.

”The defendants ought not to have been charged in the first instance.

“This, stemmed from the fact that the prosecution failed to produce before the court the minimum evidence to enable the court to order the defendants to enter their defence,” he said.

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