A former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) has revealed that he was prepared to make himself available to defend himself following the charges against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the $1.6billion Malabu Oil Block deal.
Adoke, in a statement released on Wednesday, faulted the charge of alleged involvement and money laundering filed against him and insisted that the charge was irrational.
He declared that he did not benefit in any way from the auctioning of the Oil Prospecting Licence 245(OPL 245) popularly referred to as Malabu Oil Block revealing that he got requisite approvals from ex- President Goodluck Jonathan to broker the settlement and execute the OPL 245 Settlement Agreement.
“My attention has been drawn to the charges filed by the EFCC against me and other named individuals and companies in respect of OPL 245 Settlement Agreement involving Malabu Oil & Gas Limited and Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited,” the statement read.
“The charge of aiding the commission of money laundering offences preferred against me has finally confirmed the orchestrated plans to bring me to public disrepute in order to satisfy the whims and caprices of some powerful interests on revenge mission.
“I wish to reiterate that I acted within the actual and ostensible authority of the office I occupied to broker a settlement between Malabu Oil & Gas Limited and Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited in order to ward off the over $2billion liability in damages for breach of contract which the country would have been exposed to in the likely event of the success of Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited’s claim before the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
“The terms of settlement ensured that the interests of the Federal Government of Nigeria, Malabu Oil & Gas Limited and Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited were duly acknowledged and provided for in the settlement agreement.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria was entitled to the Signature bonus which was duly paid; Malabu Oil & Gas Limited surrendered its title to OPL 245 for a consideration and Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited was re-allocated OPL 245 which it had previously substantially de-risked in consideration for withdrawing their over $ 2billion claim for breach of contract against the Federal Government of Nigeria.”