Unanswered Questions By Former Attorney General Adoke Over $1.6 Billion Judgement Scam By Tope Michael
fairness to former Nigerian Attorney general and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke he has not denied that the Federal Government of Nigeria was duped of the sum of $3.2 billion was awarded against the under his watch, the fraudulent judgment of Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court has had a third of Nigeria’s national budget stolen through an orchestrated judicial theft. What he (Adoke) is saying is that he intervened to ensure that the matter was amicably settled. Between who and who? Which settlement is the former AGF talking about? This was how he claimed to have advised settlement in the Malabu oil deal.
The allegation of the coalition of anti-corruption civil society bodies is that the 774 local governments on whose behalf Mr. Joe Agi SAN obtained the judgment did not benefit from the $1.6 billion paid to the plaintiffs. Is Adoke saying that the money awarded to the local governments should not be remitted to them?
Since Adoke authorized the release of the sum of $1.6 billion which has since been criminally diverted, is he seriously saying that the petition should not be investigated by the EFCC?
The Debt Management Office set up by law to advise the federal government on all matters pertaining to local and foreign debts had rightly kicked against the payment of the $3.2 billion judgment debt. Why did Adoke ignore the advice of DMO and proceeded to authorize the payment of the questionable judgment debt?
The DMO raised a serious legal issue on the legality of the judgment debt by saying that the local governments as a separate tier of government were not owed any money since Nigeria was run as a unitary government under the military regime. Adoke never countered the serious argument. Yet he did not challenge the case either at the trial court or at the Court of Appeal on the incontestable legal point raised by the DMO!
If Adoke had not authorized the payment of the $3.2 billion judgment debt the ex-minister of finance. Dr. Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala would not have made the part payment of $1.6 billion? In her own case, she colluded with the plaintiffs because she too ignored the advice of the DMO. As the so-called “Coordinating Minister of the Economy” at the time, she ought to have protected Nigeria by defending the position of the DMO instead of following Adoke’s dubious directive to pay a part sum of a judgment debt of $3.6 billion.
In any case, Adoke has asked Nigerians to blame Dr. Okonjo-Iweala for the payment of the fraudulent judgment debt. It does not work that way.
Since $1.6 billion has been illegally paid to the account of Joe Agi SAN on behalf of the cash-strapped 774 local governments in Nigeria and the money has been criminally diverted, the judge who gave the fraudulent judgment, the lawyer who collected the money and diverted it, the Justice minister who illegally advised that the money is paid, and the finance minister who paid the money in spite of the objection of the DMO should all be investigated by the EFCC.
The $1.6 billion should be fully recovered by the EFCC and paid into the federation account with immediate effect.