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OPL 245 Case: Nigeria’s Lawyer Contradicted FGN Officials In Italian Court

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OPL 245 Case: Nigeria’s Lawyer Contradicted FGN Officials In Italian Court

By Mr. Mohammed Bello

It will be recalled that on 6th July 2020, I drew the attention of the public through my Solicitor, Mr.
Femi Oboro, to the deliberate and malicious falsehoods contained in the statements made by the Milan Prosecutor in the ongoing proceedings against Shell and Eni and other named individuals before the Milan Court in Italy over the OPL 245 transaction.

Although I am not a party to the proceedings, I have followed with keen interest to ensure that no adverse findings of criminal misconduct are made against my person.
However, in his submission before the Court on the 9th of September, 2020, Mr. Lucio Lucia, while representing the interest of the Federal Government of Nigeria as the injured party entitled to civil compensation, had allegedly “reaffirmed the indictment of Mr. Adoke and others in the heist” in connection with the OPL 245 Resolution Agreement. Let me reiterate for the umpteenth time that my official role as Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice in the implementation of OPL 245 Settlement Agreement has been the subject of judicial pronouncement by the Federal High Court, Abuja, presided over by Justice BFN Nyako.
The Court stated amongst other things that:
“1. The involvement of the Plaintiff Mr Adoke in the negotiations leading to the implementation of a Settlement Agreement dated 30th November 2006 between Malabu Oil & Gas Limited and the
Federal Government of Nigeria and the eventual execution of Block 245 Malabu Resolution
Agreement dated 29th April 2011 between the Federal Government of Nigeria and Malabu Oil and Gas Limited was in furtherance of the lawful directives/approval of the President in the exercise of his executive powers;

  1. The involvement of the Plaintiff in the negotiation and eventual execution of the Block 245 SNUD resolution Agreement dated 29th April 2011 between the Federal Government of Nigeria and Shell Nigerian Ultra Deep and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited was in furtherance of the lawful directives/approval of the President in the exercise of his executive powers, and;
  2. The Plaintiff 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.”

  3. It is apposite to note that apart from the above judicial pronouncement, the OPL 245 Resolution
    Agreements have been the subject of review by two cabinet Ministers in the present administration. First, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, in his capacity as the Attorney-General of the Federation, issued a legal opinion to the Ag. Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, dated 20th September 2017, wherein he stated that he had reviewed the OPL 245 Resolution Agreements and was unable to find any evidence of wrongdoing pn my part.
    Secondly, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, in his capacity as the Hon. Minister of State, Ministry of Petroleum
    Resources, also reviewed the OPL 245 Resolution Agreements and in his letter to the Chief of Staff to the President, dated 13th December 2017, came to the reasoned conclusion that the agreements were in the national interest.
    In the light of the above, it is clear that Mr. Lucio Lucia cannot assert on behalf of the same Federal Government of Nigeria a position that is contrary to the unassailable declarations in the subsisting judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja, and the views already expressed by the sitting AttorneyGeneral of the Federation and the former Minister of State, Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
    Mr. Lucio Lucia also lied to the court that I was extradited from Dubai for corruption related to OPL 245, knowing fully that nothing of sort ever happened. The records are there with INTERPOL that I voluntarily decided to return to Nigeria. The Nigerian Government could not proceed with extradition processes against me because the International Warrant of Arrest they wanted to use against me had been vacated by the same Nigerian court that granted it.
    Mr. Lucio Lucia, with defamatory audacity, also carelessly reconstructed the evidence on my Mortgage transaction with Unity Bank to suit his narrative. This is a subject of criminal proceedings in Nigeria and, for now, I will not be able to comment against the twisting and manipulation of the facts of the failed mortgage transaction because it will be subjudicial.
    Finally, while I am not adverse to the Federal Government claims before the Milan Court, I am concerned that Mr. Lucio Lucia has been allowed to present to the Court deliberate false statements against me in support of Federal Government’s case. I am still in possession of copies of letters by Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, the Attorney General of the Federation, and Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, in his capacity as the Hon. Minister of State, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, clearing me of any misconduct or misdeed in the OPL 245 transaction. There is also a subsisting court judgment that cleared me of any personal liability in carrying out a presidential order.
    l, therefore, call on the Federal Government of Nigeria to debrief Mr. Lucio Lucia for his embarrassing conduct, deliberate falsehood and dishonesty in a Court of Law.

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$3m bribery: Farouk Lawan bags 7 years jail term

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Former Chairman, House of Representatives probe panel chairman, Honourable Farouk Lawal has bagged seven-year jail term for demanding $3 million bribe from Femi Otedola.

Former chairman of the federal house of representatives ad-hoc committee on fuel subsidy has been handed 7 years jail term over the $3 million bribery charges preferred against him by the federal government.

Justice Angela Otaluka of the Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Apo who gave the judgement found Lawal guilty yesterday in all three-count charge brought against him by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC).

Lawan was the chairman of the house of representatives probe panel that Superintendent over the investigation of the multi-billion naira fuel subsidy fraud in 2012.

He was accused of demanding $3 million from Femi Otedola to remove Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited (Otedola’s company) from the list of oil companies allegedly involved in the fuel subsidy fraud in 2012.
Lawan, who was arraigned on seven count charges of bribery by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), was alleged to have collected $500,000 bribe from Otedola.

The charge was later amended to three counts.
Otedola, while giving evidence as the fifth prosecution witness, said the defendant had demanded $3 million from him with a threat to indict his company.
The businessman said he proceeded to report the issue to the DSS and was given $500,000 in marked notes. Also, the DSS had planted a camera in Otedola’s house
The drama then on a video clip that went viral showed Lawan popularly known as Mr. Itetgrity clearly stuffing wads of dollar bills into his pocket and in his cap after which he replaced the cap on his head.

Farouk Lawan, received the bribes from oil mogul, Femi Otedola.

For each of the visits to Otedola according to multiple sources, five video recordings, averaging a duration of eight to 10 minutes, were made.
Most of the recordings were made at Mr Otedola’s Abuja home in the Asokoro district of Abuja.
Each time Mr Lawan visited, Mr Otedola’s apartment was secretly fitted with audio and visual recording devices by the SSS.
The lawmaker negotiated the terms of the bribe with Mr Otedola over lunch on the first visit, the sources said. He later received the first part of $250,000 on the second visit, which was around 11 p.m

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Respite as two anti Buhari protesters get bail after over 2months in custody

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Reprieve came the way oft two President Muhammadu Buhari Must go protesters, Larry Emmanuel and Victor Anene Udoka who were detained by the Kogi state government April 5th, 2021 have finally been granted bail. 

The NationalUpdate recalled that some youths on 4th April had invaded lokoja with the sole aim of rolling out a campaign against President Muhammadu Buhari.
They were alleged to have painted buildings and pasted posters with Buhari Must Go inscription.
The two protesters were, on Friday, granted bail by a magistrate’s court in the state after spending 71 days in unlawful detention. 
The court had on Wednesday adjourned ruling on the bail application for the two anti-Buhari protesters till Friday. 
The court resumed hearing on Wednesday after strike action by judicial workers was called off. 
The court, after listening to both sides, adjourned the date for ruling on the application till Friday, June 18, 2021.
Emmanuel and Udoka, who were detained at the instance of the Kogi State Government since April 5, embarked on a hunger strike at the Kabba Prison as the government turned deaf ears to national and international call for their release.

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Appeal court affirms Akeredolu’s victory

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Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and his Deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa have been affirmed as duly elected in the October 10, 2020 election by the Court of Appeal sitting in Akure, Ondo State Capital
Led by Justice Theresa Orji-Abadua the five-man panel delivered the judgement after dismissing the appeal of Eyitayo Jegede, candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) in the election for lacking in merit.
After the tribunal delivered judgement on April 20, 2021, dismissing his petition challenging the nomination and election of Akeredolu and Aiyedatiwa for lacking in merit Jegede approached the appellate court
.
However, Justice Abadua of the appellate court concluded that the appeal lacked merit even though some of the grounds were meritorious.

The Appeal Court dismissed the case on grounds 3 and 7 and partly allowed ground 6 of Jegede’s appeal.
The court, however, resolved issues 1, 2, 4 and 5 in favour of the appellant.
The remaining four Justices on the appeal, H. A Barka, Andenyangtso Ali, J.G Abudanga concurred to the judgement.
The Appeal Panel had two weeks ago reserved judgement in the appeal brought before it by the Jegede of the PDP.

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