Global groups write Buhari, IG, fault Adoke on OPL 245 fraud charges
By Samuel Ogunsona
An international coalition of anti-corruption groups has asked the Inspector General of Police, IG, Adamu Abubakar to dismiss request for fresh investigation made by former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke on the OPL 245 oil fraud. Adoke had asked the IG to investigate the source of an important email that nailed him saying it was a red herring.
A copy of the letter was sent to President Mohammadu Buhari and made available to Irohinoodua
In a letter to the Inspector General of Police, (IG), Adamu Abubakar, the world’s leading anti-corruption coalition dismissed Adoke’s claims saying that concrete evidence faults Adoke’s attempt to exonerate himself from the cobweb of graft running into millions of dollars in the OPL 245 scam.
Adoke among many Nigerian officials was charged in a court in Milan that established mind-bogging corruption running into billions of naira with the controversial email providing a major source of evidence. Adoke had issued a statement through his lawyers saying the email may have been forged by “parties responsible for the
petition, investigations and commencement of the criminal trial at the
court of Milan”. But the global anti-corruption movement is tearing Adoke’s new position into shreds.
“There is an attempt by Adoke to create a safe passage in the face of overwhelming evidence against him. Asking the IG to investigate the email already entered into the Milan Tribunal” the coalition made up of Re-Common, The Corner House Human and Environmental Development Agenda, (HEDA) and Global Witness said in a letter addressed to the IG on Sunday.The groups were responsible pulling off the lid to expose the can of worms I the OPL 245 dirty deals.
The petition was signed by Executive Director, Re-Common, Mr Luca Manes
The coalition said the email was from an address associated with A Group Properties, a
company owned by Aliyu Abubakhar, who is also charged in Milan and
Nigeria with offenses related to the OPL 245 deal. It said the email was sent to
an employee of JP Morgan Chase, the bank that held the proceeds of the
deal on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria and that is was dully signed by
Mohammed Bello Adoke.
The coalition said “The email would certainly appear damaging to Mr Adoke, who is charged
in Nigeria with a number of offences arising from the OPL 245 deal.
Specifically, the email points to an association between a Mohammed
Bello Adoke and the Abubakar company that subsequently arranged the
purchase of a house for Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke . Moreover, that
association is specifically tied to the OPL 245 deal through the email. It is
therefore understandable that Mr Adoke should try to discredit the email.”
It noted that the email first came to light in 2021 as part of civil proceedings by the
Federal Republic of Nigeria against JP Morgan Chase [JPMC] in the High
Court in London, where it was disclosed by JPMC and cited by the Nigeria in
support of its claim and that the Milan Prosecutor obtained the email through legal means.
The coalition said the email, which was sent from an email account associated with A •
Group Properties, was received by an employee of JPMC on 21 June
“At the time, none of our groups knew of the existence of A
Group Properties, nor of the OPL 245 Resolution Agreements that
were attached to the email. At the time, these Agreements were
secret and would only have been accessible to parties to the deal,
their associates and government officials. The existence of the
Resolution Agreements did not come into the public domain until
late 2011, months after the email was sent. This alone suggests that
the email was sent by someone with official access to the
documents”, the coalition said.
It argued that Adoke, through his lawyers, himself suggests a plausible explanation•
for the email that does not involve forgery, that it was sent
by a government official as indicated in the press statement which stated that “Our client while
in office had at least five aides working with him, and could have
sent an email on his behalf assuming that Mr. Mohammed Bello
Adoke SAN was busy, or had issues with his email account”.
The coalition said despite
this admission, Adoke makes no request for an investigation into this
The coalition said “The original email as received by JPMC will have properties and •
electronic information that would enable the identification of the IP
address from which it was sent. Mr. Adoke failed to challenge this alleged forged document when it was submitted by the Milan Prosecutor to the Milan Court in the
It asks the IG to contact JPMC, the SFO of United Kingdom,
Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Justice, the EFCC and the Milan Public
Prosecutor to seek their verification of the origins of the email.
“We believe that Mr Adoke’s complaint to you is a deliberate attempt to
pervert the course of justice and would request that you investigate. We
would draw your attention to the fact that Mr. Adoke, was repatriated from the United Arab Emirate by the Nigerian Government and that Messrs Adoke and Abubakar are facing potential
trials in three different cases arising from the investigation of the OPL 245
The group noted that in addition, the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) has recovered
$78million related to the OPL 245 deal from the UK – money that was
recovered as stolen assets while the Nigerian autority is also a civil party to the Milan trial.
The coalition said depending on the outcome of that trial, the Nigerian State stands to
benefit potentially from substantial further compensation.