Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The immediate past Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), was on Thursday granted bail to the tune of N50 million, with one surety in like sum, by a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) sitting in Gwagwalada division.
Justice Abubakar Kutigi in his ruling also admitted A Abubakar and Rasky Gbinige (2nd and 3rd defendants) to bail pending the determination of corruption allegations against them.
While the 2nd defendant, Abubakar, was granted bail in the sum of N50 million, the court admitted the 3rd defendant, Gbinijie to bail in the sum of N10 million.
Justice Kutigi maintained that the sureties must be responsible citizens that must depose affidavits of means.
In addition, the Judge stated that the sureties must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court and must own verifiable landed properties worth the bail sum.
The court further ordered the sureties to tender their three years tax clearance certificates, even as it seized international passports of all the defendants, warning them not to travel out of the country without permission.
It held that the defendants must sign a written undertaking not to interfere with any of the prosecution witnesses and to make themselves available for trial at all times.
Justice Kutigi warned that breach of any of the conditions would warrant automatic revocation of the defendants’ bail.
He dismissed a counter-affidavit the EFCC filed to oppose the release of the defendants on bail.
The Federal Government had slammed a fresh 42-count charge against the former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke, SAN, over alleged fraud in the $1.1 billon Malabu oil deal.
Adoke, who served as AGF under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, was arrested upon his return to the country from Dubai, United Arab Emirate, on December 19, 2019.
He went on self-exile shortly after ex-President Jonathan lost his re-election bid in 2015, but was arrested and detained in Dubai by the INTERPOL on November 11.
The Federal Government, in the charge marked CR/151/2020, which was entered before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, alleged that he received gratification to facilitate the oil bloc fraud.
Other defendants in the charge are Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company Limited, Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited, Nigeria AGIP Exploration Limited, Dauzia Loya Etete (at large), Rasky Gbinigie, Munamuna Seidougha (at large) and Amaran Joseph (at large).
The Federal Government alleged that it was the ex-AGF that mediated controversial agreements that ceded OPL 245 to two oil giants, Shell and Eni, who in turn paid about $1.1 billion to accounts controlled by an ex-convict and former Petroleum Minister, Dan Etete.