19 July 2013, Abuja – Irked by his invitation by the House of Representatives to appear before it and answer questions on his role in the controversial sale of the Malabu Oil-owned $1.3bn oil bloc, OPL 245, to Shell and Agip, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, has fired back at the lawmakers for daring to probe him further on the matter.
The House of Representatives had on Tuesday ordered the minister to appear before it next week and explain who cleared him of complicity in the multi-million naira oil deal, whose outcome is resonating across the world, with one case being filed in London by an aggrieved Nigerian, Emeka Obi.
Adoke is asking Malabu to pay him $200 million for successfully sourcing for the buyers of the oil bloc, who paid the whopping $1.3 billion.
But sounding unapologetic, Adoke accused the lawmakers of poke-nosing into a private company’s deal, which should be handled by the courts and its shareholders.
The minister said that he knew those who were behind the call for his probe and promised to confront them at the appropriate time.
The AGF warned the lawmakers not to drag the Federal Government and its agencies and officials into a purely commercial dispute between Malabu and its purported partners.
Adoke said: “We also know those secretly beating the drums for masquerades dancing in the market square. We shall confront them at the appropriate forum.
“How else can one explain why the ownership of shares in a private company would generate sufficient interest among members of the legislature so as to merit a resolution of a committee that certain persons or companies are entitled to ownership of shares in a private company, when the courts are the appropriate venue for the ventilation of such disputes between share holders (if any).”
The minister insisted just as he did during an earlier appearance before the legislators, that he had no pecuniary intention in facilitating the settlement of the long-running dispute between the parties and the Nigerian Government in the controversial oil deal, which has now spread to the United Kingdom.
Adoke in a statement released in Abuja, explained that contrary to the claim of any misdeed in the respect of the oil deal, he only assisted to resolve lingering legal disputes between Shell and Agip on one hand and Malabu and the Federal Government on the other hand.
– Soni Daniel, Vanguard