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Malabu: Court dismisses money laundering charges against ex-AGF, Adoke

The Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday dismissed money laundering charges filed against a former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice…

The Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday dismissed money laundering charges filed against a former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice under the former President Goodluck Jonathan administration, Bello Adoke.

Adoke was accused of alleged fraud in the controversial Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 245, widely known as Malabu Oil deal.

The judge, Inyang Ekwo, upheld the “no-case-submission” application filed by Mr Adoke after the prosecution, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), concluded its case and it was the turn of the defendants to present theirs.

A no-case submission is filed by a defendant at the end of the prosecution’s case, asking the court for an acquittal without having him or her present a defence. Such filing is premised on the presumption by the defendant that the prosecution, with all its witnesses and evidence tendered while making its case, failed to link him or her to the alleged crimes.

Mr Adoke was standing trial along with Aliyu Abubakar, a businessman, on money laundering charges in the case.

The judge in his ruling on Friday, said the EFCC failed to provide any substantial evidence linking Mr Adoke to the alleged offence and went ahead to discharge and acquit Mr Adoke of alleged offences.

But the judge dismissed Mr Adoke’s co-defendant’s no-case-submission, ordering Mr Abubakar to enter his defence in the trial.

The ruling tallies with the judgement of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Jabi, Abuja, three weeks ago, which freed him of complicity in alleged fraud.

Meanwhile, the Malabu scandal involved the transfer of about $1.1 billion by Shell and ENI through the Nigerian government to accounts controlled by a former Nigerian petroleum minister, Dan Etete, where about half the money ($520 million) went to accounts of companies allegedly controlled by Aliyu Abubakar.

 

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