Alex Enumah in Abuja
Justice Danlami Senchi of an Abuja High Court, has vacated a bench warrant issued for the arrest of a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke and five others.
Justice Senchi vacated the order yesterday, in a ruling delivered in an application challenging the order of arrest of the defendants.
The court had on April 17 this year while delivering ruling in an exparte application brought by the federal government, ordered for the arrest of Adoke, a former Minister of Petroleum, Dan Etete, and four others over their alleged complicity in the OPL 245/Malabu oil deal.
The court set aside the other of arrest made against the defenfants on the grounds that it lacked the jurisdiction to make the order in the first place since the defendants were yet to be served with the information charge.
The defendants’ lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), had in an application asked the court to set aside the order on the grounds that the court was misled.
Aside the prayers to vacate the order of arrest, Ozekhome had also urged the court to strike out the names of the defendants in the suit the federal government filed against Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company Limited and 10 others.
According to the senior lawyer, the order for Adoke’s arrest was issued in breach of his right to fair hearing as guaranteed by the constitution.
Ozekhome stated that Adoke was neither served with the charge sheet and proof of evidence, or any other summons in respect of the criminal charge pending before the court, a condition which robbed the court of jurisdiction to make the order.
However, the court refused the prayer seeking to strike out the names of the 4th-9th defendants from the charge.