16 March 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has warned former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke, to stop mentioning his name in the controversial Malabu Oil scandal.
Obasanjo reportedly described the award of OPL 245 oil field licence as the “height of corruption,” which he could not have endorsed.
“Adoke and others should not drag me into a matter I know nothing about. If they have been asked to answer questions over decisions they took while in office, they should do that honourably,” Obasanjo said.
“They should not bring Obasanjo into an Etete deal. I was not part of any such deal. If I hold that view, I could not have approved a deal with Dan Etete. What Etete did is the height of corruption. He appropriated the asset to himself illegally, illegitimately and immorally.
“I can’t remember giving approval that the block be given back to Etete
“We gave it back to Malabu? On what ground? Do you have any such evidence? Ask Bayo Ojo and Edmund Daukoru what really happened because the stand I took at the time was unassailable.
“If Daukoru has evidence that I approved that the block be given back to Malabu or Etete, let him produce it.
“If it is proven that I indeed approved the deal, I will be willing to apologise to Nigerians. But we have to get to the bottom of it all.”
The former Attorney General of the Federation, Adoke, had faulted the decision of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to prosecute him and others for resolving the ownership disputes of the Oil Prospecting Licence 245 between the federal government, Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep and Malabu Oil and Gas Limited.
In a letter he wrote to the incumbent AGF and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), Adoke said three past presidents namely: Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan, approved the settlement arrangement that culminated in the final settlement of the protracted dispute.
The former minister also expressed regret that the EFCC had allowed itself to be used by the late Sani Abacha’s family to pursue personal interest instead of national interest for which the commission was established.
He wondered why the Abacha’s family had refused to go to court if truly the family’s interest was adversely affected by the settlement agreement.
The former AGF described as spurious and malicious, the charges filed against him and other individuals and companies, demanding that Malami should speak out on the issue since his office has all the facts.
He added, “I believe it is your responsibility to explain to the public who are being sold a fiction that the transaction started from President Obasanjo, under whose administration the Terms of Settlement were brokered with Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN), as the then AGF who executed the Terms of Settlement before the tenure of President Jonathan, who approved the final implementation of the Terms of Settlement and my humble self who executed the resolution agreements. This is more so as the settlement and its implementation were situated in the Federal Ministry of Justice.”