Malabu Oil: Group Writes Buhari’’s Attorney-General Malami Over Its Chairman, Suraju’s Alleged Cyberstalking Case

Nigeria’s anti-corruption group, Human and Environmental Development Agenda, (HEDA Resource Centre), has written to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, over the case file of its chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, for alleged cyberstalking.

HEDA, within the letter to Mr Malami, which was additionally copied for the eye of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, mentioned any approval by the minister to prosecute Suraju on the grounds that his alleged statements had been unfaithful would due to this fact contradict proof submitted by the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) in London and Milan.

Malabu Oil: Group Writes Buhari'’s Attorney-General Malami Over Its Chairman, Suraju’s Alleged Cyberstalking Case 2

The Malabu scandal concerned the switch of over $1 billion by Shell and ENI by the Nigerian authorities to accounts managed by a former Nigerian Petroleum Minister, Dan Etete.

From accounts managed by Etete, about half the cash ($520 million) went to accounts of firms managed by Aliyu Abubakar, popularly recognized in Nigeria because the proprietor of AA oil.

Anti-corruption investigators and activists suspect he fronted for prime officers of the Goodluck Jonathan administration as nicely of officers of Shell and ENI.

The transaction was authorised in 2011 by ex-president Jonathan by a few of his cupboard ministers and the cash was cost for OPL 245, one in all Nigeria’s richest oil blocks.

The oil assets of the OPL 245 license have remained undeveloped because the controversies started.

One of these being prosecuted by the Nigerian authorities is Mohammed Adoke, a former Attorney-General of the Federation. 

He is dealing with trial over the alleged position he performed within the “fraudulent” switch of possession of an oil block, OPL 245, considered one of many greatest in Africa.

Other defendants embody Aliyu Abubakar, Rasky Gbinigie and 4 companies- Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited and Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company Limited.

The letter from HEDA signed by its Executive Secretary, Sulaimon Arigbabu, added that this could have appreciable implications on each the JPMC case and the present enchantment by the FRN in Milan in opposition to the judgment to acquit the defendants within the OPL 245 case.

Adoke, a kind of accused of fraud within the OPL 245 rip-off, additionally known as the Malabu scandal, had petitioned the police, accusing Mr Suraju and HEDA of circulating fabricated proof in opposition to him to unduly incriminate him within the multi-million greenback scandal.

The topic of Adoke’s petition was the forgery of an e-mail through which Nigeria, as a sovereign State was short-changed to the tune of $1.1 billion (100 and one billion US {dollars}) and HEDA and its worldwide companions, have been concerned within the advocacy for restoration of this cash and prosecution of principal actors behind the heist.

However, HEDA and Suraju have denied any wrongdoing in a sequence of statements issued on the matter, stating that the objects he was accused of fabricating featured as displays within the Malabu oil rip-off trials in Milan, Italy.

HEDA’s open letter despatched to the minister learn, “We understand from press reports that the Inspector General of Police has submitted a case file to you for review and possible recommendation for the prosecution of Olanrewaju Suraju for cyberstalking. According to the Premium Times, the file was forwarded to your office on 20 September 2021 by ACP Ibrahim Musa, Head of the IGP Monitoring Unit, on behalf of the IGP.

“A copy of a report on the case, apparently written by Mr Musa at the request of Mohamed Bello Adoke SAN, has been published in the press. We assume that this was the same report that was forwarded to you.

“Mr Musa’s letter of 20 September 2021 [“the Musa letter”], as reported within the Premium Times, accuses Mr Suraju of constructing criminally defamatory statements concerning an e-mail mentioned to have been despatched by Mr Mohamed Adoke to JP Morgan Chase to facilitate the switch of funds arising from the OPL 245 deal to Malabu Oil and Gas. Mr Adoke denies sending the e-mail and has claimed it’s a forgery. The Musa letter additionally alleges that Mr Suraju’s reporting of the e-mail was a ‘calculated try’ to ‘falsify relationship between [Mr Adoke] and Aliyu Abubakar whereas their instances are nonetheless ongoing in courtroom, thereby deceptive the general public.’”

The anti-graft organisation mentioned the choice as as to whether or to not prosecute Mr Suraju is for the minister, as Nigeria’s chief legislation officer to resolve, taking account of the info of the case; whether or not there may be an controversial case to reply; the general public curiosity in prosecuting; and the prospect of a profitable prosecution.

However, it famous that “Any prosecution for criminal defamation would however necessarily rest on the basis that the statements made by Mr Suraju were untrue. The purpose of this letter is, therefore, to call your attention to the fact that the statements allegedly made by Mr Suraju are identical to those that have been made by the Federal Republic of Nigeria in its civil cases against JP Morgan Chase in London and its case against Shell, Eni and other defendants in Milan.

“In its Re-Re-Amended Particulars of Claim to the High Court in London in the JPMC case, the FRN described the OPL 245 transaction as ‘corrupt’ and ‘a conspiracy to injure [Nigeria] by unlawful means by depriving the [FRN] of monies for the grant of OPL245 to which it was lawfully and exclusively entitled.’ This is no different in substance or wording from statements that have been made by Mr Suraju.

“The FRN also stated that on 21st June 2011 ‘Bayo Osolake (as a representative of the Defendant [JPMC]) received an email sent by Attorney General Adoke from the email address ‘[email protected]’, attaching copies of each of the Resolution Agreements”. Again, that is exactly the identical language and content material utilized by Mr Suraju to report on the 21 June 2011 e-mail.

 “In the Milan case, where the FRN submitted the email in question as evidence in its final summing up arguments to the Court on 10 February 2021, the FRN stated: “The closeness of Abubakar and Adoke at the time of the OPL 245 affair has, lastly, been definitively confirmed by the email acquired during the hearing of 3.2.2021, with which copies of the three RA signed – by Adoke Bello – were sent from an email address of A Group Properties to JP Morgan.” Mr Suraju has merely reported this assertion of reality by the FRN.

“The FRN further stated to the Milan Court: “Basically, the behaviour of the AG during the negotiations, at the meeting of 15.11.2010 during which the price and corrupt agreement are defined, the indifference regarding the contractual clauses and his sole interest in the price that was due Malabu, his intervention with the President to silence the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) objections (which are silenced), the closeness to Etete and Abubakar during the period in question, the relationship of ‘closeness’ with the oil companies, can only and solely be read together with the abnormal property operation with Abubakar and the abnormal perception of cash.”

HEDA continued, “Yet again, the statements allegedly made by Mr Suraju regarding the relationship between Adoke and Abubakar were merely reporting the facts as stated by the FRN in open court.

“We would also note that Adoke himself has acknowledged his relationship with Abubakar in his book Burden of Service (relevant pages attached) and that, in its judgment, the Milan court described the ‘[email protected]’ email as confirmation of ‘the relationship between Minister Adoke and the companies of Alhaji Abubakar Aliyu’ – a relationship which is described by the judges as proof of a mixture of economic interests that is serious circumstantial evidence of receipt of benefits from Malabu’s payment.

“Although Adoke has vigorously denied receiving any payments from the OPL 245 deal, we note that the Milan court ruled as a fact that he is the only one of the three public officials indicated in the indictment as necessary parties to the corrupt agreement to have received a benefit directly deriving from funds from the OPL 245 operation.

“The Milan judges state that Adoke received some $2 million from the deal. The money originated from Aliyu Abubakar and was paid into Adoke’s account through numerous cash payments from Bureaux de Change.

“We assume that you are in possession or have seen the FRN’s Re-Re-Ammended Statement of Claim to the High Court in London and the final pleadings of the FRN in the Milan case. Since the lawyers were acting on your fiat, we also assume that the statements in both documents reflect the FRN’s position.

“For Suraju to be prosecuted for reporting statements made in open court by the Federal Republic of Nigeria is an assault on the fundamental principle of open justice.”

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Malabu Oil: Group Writes Buhari'’s Attorney-General Malami Over Its Chairman, Suraju’s Alleged Cyberstalking Case

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