The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC has arraigned former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice Mohammed Adoke for allegedly receiving bribes to facilitate a $1.3 billion oil deal.
Adoke was arraigned on Thursday before Justice A.I. Kutigi of Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja.
The former AGF is facing an amended 42-count charge. He is being tried alongside Aliyu Abubakar, Mr. Rasky Gbinigie, Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd, Nigeria Agip Exploration, Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Ltd and Shell Nigeria Exploration Production.
Adoke is accused of accepting a gratification of US dollars equivalent of N300 million from Aliyu Abubakar to facilitate and negotiate the Block 245 Resolution Agreement with Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited, Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited.
The EFCC said the offence is contrary to and punishable under Section 115(a) of the Panel Code, Cap. 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Abuja) 1990 and punishable under Section 115(i) of the same Penal Code.
The former minister pleaded not guilty to all charges and the case has been adjourned to January 27 for hearing on bail applications.
According to Reuters news agency, Shell’s and Eni’s local subsidiaries have also been charged with illegally assisting Adoke in waiving the taxes, according to last week’s charge sheet.
Malabu was owned by former petroleum minister Dan Etete.
Shell and Eni, and their executives, have denied any wrongdoing. Etete has also denied wrongdoing.