• You must face trial –FG insists
Godwin Tsa, Abuja
A former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Bello Mohammed Adoke(SAN) has approached the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court to declare that the criminal charge filed against him by the Federal government is invalid null and void.
But, in a swift response, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), urged the court to dismiss the suit and to insist that Adoke stand trial in the five- count criminal charge against him.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/446/2017 and filed by his counsel, Kanu Agabi(SAN), Adoke who relied on the provision of sections 5, 147, 148, and 150 of the 1999 Constitution argued that he did not incur personal liability for complying with the lawful directives/ instructions or approvals of the President (former President Goodluck Jonathan).
He submitted through a supporting affidavit that he “did not commit any crime, any wrongdoing or exceed the directives/approvals in relation to presidential directives given to him to facilitate implementation of Settlement Agreements executed in 2011, in respect of OPL 245 dispute between Malabu Oil & Gas Limited and Shell Ultra Deep Nigeria Limited.”
He told the court that Malami had, in his September 20, 2017 letter to Acting EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, “expressed a legal opinion to the effect that the plaintiff has no case to answer, on account of the implementation of the Settlement Agreement in respect of OPL 245 in 2011.”
Adoke further said the Minister of State, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, one of the implementing ministries/agencies of the Settlement Agreement of 2011 had also in a December 15, 2017 letter, with ref. no. MPR/STAHMS/S.26/II, to the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, endorsed the legal opinion of the defendant to the effect that the plaintiff has no case to answer in respect of the OPL 245 Settlement Agreement.
It was the summary of his submission that whatever decision or action he took while in office, was in accordance with the dictate of the office as AGF.