A former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke(SAN), has sued his successor, AGF Abubakar Malami(SAN), over the Settlement Agreement of the controversial $1.09billion Malabu Oil Block(OPL 245).

He asked the court to declare that he acted on the agreement based on the directives of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

He urged the court to declare his ongoing prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC)  on account of carrying out the lawful directives of the former president was illegal, null and void.

He said he could not be held personally liable for carrying out the lawful directives of the former president.

The Federal Government had seized Malabu Oil Block from four oil giants pending the conclusion of investigation and trial of those implicated in the $1.09billion deal.

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The oil firms are Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCO), Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, Malabu Oil and Gas Limited.

On December 20, 201, the EFCC filed nine charges bordering on alleged mismanagement of $1,616,690,656.78 Malabu Oil cash against Adoke( SAN), a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Chief Dan Etete and seven others.

The others are a businessman, Aliyu Abubakar, Malabu Oil and Gas Limited; Rocky  Top Resources Limited; Imperial Union Limited; Novel Properties and Development Company Limited, Group Construction Limited and Megatech Engineering Limited.

The nine-count charge was filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja by a team of lawyers, including Johnson Ojogbane, C.C. Nduese, H.M. Mohammed, and  Victor Ukagwu.

But Adoke, in an application through his counsel, Mr. Kanu Agabi(SAN), said he only carried out presidential directives in giving effect to the agreement on Malabu Oil Block(OPL 245).

He sought the following reliefs from the Federal High Court, Abuja:

“A declaration  that the involvement of the plaintiff in the negotiations leading to the implementation of the Settlement Agreement dated 30th November 2006 between Malabu Oil and 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.

“A declaration that 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 Nigeria 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.

“A declaration that the involvement of the plaintiff in the negotiation and eventual execution of Block 245 Resolution Agreement dated 29th April 2011 between the Federal Government of Nigeria; and Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited; and Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation; and Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited; 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.

“A declaration that any correspondence/instruction to JP Morgan or any other entity and ancillary actions and processes taken by the plaintiff in furtherance of the implementation of the Settlement Agreement dated 30th November 2006; Block 245 Malabu Agreement dated 29th April 2011; Block 245 SNUD Resolution Agreement dated 29th April 2011 and Block 245 Resolution dated 29th April 2011 were in furtherance of the lawful directives/approvals of the president in the exercise of his executive powers.

“A declaration that the prosecution of the Plaintiff by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on account of his carrying out the lawful directives and implementation of the approvals of the president, while he served as a Minister of the Government of the Federation is illegal, null and void and inconsistent with the intendment of section 5 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria l999 as amended.

“A declaration that the plaintiff cannot be held personally liable for carrying out the lawful directives/approvals of the president while he served as a Minister of the Government of the Federation.

He asked the court to determine the following:

  • Whether having regard to the provisions of section 5(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, the executive powers of the federation are vested in the president to exercise same directly or through a Minister of the Government of the Federation
  • Whether by the combined reading of section 5(1); section 147 (1); Section 148(1) and section 150 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, the plaintiff herein while serving as a Minister of the Government of the Federation could exercise the executive powers of the federation vested in the president as directed by the president.
  • Whether the plaintiff while serving as a Minister of the Government of the Federation can be held personally liable for carrying out the lawful directives and/or implementing the lawful approvals of the president.

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