The immediate-past Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke (SAN), and three others have asked the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory to set aside the order of arrest it issued against them on April 17.
Justice Danladi Senchi had issued the arrest warrant against six suspects, including Adoke, named in the charges bordering on the $2.1bn Malabu oil scam.
The judge issued the order based on an ex parte application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Apart from Adoke, others affected by the court’s arrest warrant were a former Minster of Petroleum Resources, Dan Etete, Raph Wezels, Casula Roberto, Pujato Stefeno and Burrato Sebastino, and Aliyu Abubakar.
Moving the application on April 17, EFCC, through its lawyer, Mr. Aliyu Yusuf, informed the judge that it needed the arrest warrant to enable it to apprehend the suspects and bring them before the court for arraignment on the charges instituted against them since 2016.
The alleged $1.2bn scam involved the transfer of the OPL 245 purportedly from Malabu Oil and Gas Limited to Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Co. Limited and Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited.
But Adoke, through his lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), contended in his application filed on Tuesday that the arrest warrant was issued against him “without jurisdiction and ought to be set aside.”
He anchored his contention on the grounds that the EFCC in applying for it failed to disclose vital information of a judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja delivered on April 13, 2018, which held that he “cannot be held personally liable for carrying out the lawful/approvals of the President while he served as a Minister of the Government of the Federation”.
He added, “As long as the judgment has not been set aside, it remains binding on all parties as well as their agents, servants, or privies, the respondent herein inclusive.
“That the bench warrant issued by this honourable court, on April 17, 2019 against the applicant herein was issued in breach of the applicant’s judgment right, as provided for in section 36(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as altered.”
Also, the foreigners among the suspects – Casula Roberto, Pujatti Stefeno and Burrafato Sebastiano – filed a joint application seeking an order setting aside the arrest warrant.
In the application filed on their behalf by their lawyer, Mr. Joe Kyari-Gadzama (SAN), they contended that the court was misled in issuing the arrest warrant against them.
– Apr. 24, 2019 @ 02:00 GMT |