Former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, has asked the general secretariat of INTERPOL in France to set him free.
The ex-AGF, who is on trial for corruption in Nigeria, was arrested in Dubai, United Arab Emirate on November 11. In a letter, dated November 28, Adoke described his arrest and current trial as political persecution by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and an abuse of court orders.
Adoke allegedly played a key role in a 2011 agreement that saw the transfer of OPL 245, a rich oil block, to Shell and Eni. In return, about $1.1 billion went to Malabu, a shady company then controlled by a former petroleum minister, Dan Etete.
The oil firms and their officials are being prosecuted in Italy for their roles in the scandal.
In Nigeria, the trial was stalled largely by the inability of the EFCC to serve papers on Mr Adoke and other suspects.
He claimed in his letter that the arrest was intended for unlawful and malicious purposes.
“On 11th November 2019, our client was arrested in Dubai (UAE) by the Interpol in breach of its Article 3 of its constitution as agent of the political authorities in Nigeria in circumstances described below as unlawful.
“The criminal charges filed in the courts, in Nigeria, against our client by the EFCC, are intended for unlawful and malicious purposes, to wit: political persecution of our client for reasons connected with our client’s former position in public office as a senior figure in the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Mr Adoke said in his letter signed by his lawyer, Femi Oboro.
Mr Adoke who has denied links to the alleged Malabu fraud and had been on self-exile since vacating office in May 2015, accused the current government of political intimidation and abuse of court orders.
Mr Adoke cited the federal high court decision of Justice Binta Nyako, in April 2017 where the judge ruled that Mr Adoke’s alleged actions were in line with his lawful duties.
The letter also made reference to a September 2017 communication from the AGF, Abubakar Malami, where Mr Malami advised President Muhamadu Buhari that no valid case could be established against Mr Adoke and others accused in the Malabu scandal.
Mr Adoke described his arrest as an attempt by Nigerian authorities to facilitate international illegality by propelling INTERPOL to violate section 3 of its constitution which prohibits intervention for political and other reasons