By Alex Enumah
A former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke (SAN), has written the current AGF and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), protesting against his indictment by Nigeria’s lawyer, Mr Lucio Lucia, at the ongoing trial of Shell and others by a Milan, Italy court.
In the letter of complaint dated September 10, which he personally signed, Adoke appealed to Malami to call Lucia, “to order” so as to prevent him from trampling upon his rights.
The former AGF, in the letter titled: ‘Letter of Complaint against the Conduct of Mr Lucio Lucia Representing the Federal Government of Nigeria in the Milan Proceedings against Shell, Eni and Other Individuals’, complained bitterly about how Lucia presented him as corrupt and partly responsible for fraud allegations being tried by the Milan court.
“Mr. Lucio Lucia in his submission before the court on 09/09/2020, on the position of Federal Republic of Nigeria as injured party entitled to civil compensation, had allegedly ‘reaffirmed the indictment of Mr. Adoke and others in the heist’ connection with the OPL 245 Resolution Agreement.
“He proceeded to make other bizarre and unfounded allegations to the effect that I was extradited from Dubai for two corruption related to OPL 245 knowing fully that nothing of sort ever happened and with characteristic audacity, he carelessly reconstructed the evidence on my Mortgage transaction with Unity Bank Plc which is subject of ongoing criminal proceedings in Nigeria to suit his narrative,” Adoke said.
He reminded Malami that his official role as AGF and Minister of Justice in the implementation of OPL 245 Settlement Agreement has been the subject of judicial pronouncement by the Federal High Court, Abuja on April 13, 2018 where the court exonerated him of any wrongdoing.
The trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako, had amongst others held that: “The plaintiff cannot be held personally liable for carrying out the lawful [approvals of the president while he served as a minister of the Government of the Federation.”
Adoke also reminded Malami that apart from the above judicial pronouncement, the OPL 245 Resolution Agreement was a subject of review of two cabinet ministers in the present administration; Malami and former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu, wherein they did not find him guilty of wrongdoing, adding that Kachukwu, in his letter to the Chief of Staff to the President dated December 13, 2017, had said: “Came to the reasoned conclusion that the agreements were in the national interest.
“In the light of the above, I am unable to understand why Mr. Lucio Lucia would be allowed to assert on behalf of the same Federal Government of Nigeria, a position that is contrary to the unassailable declarations in the subsisting judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja dated April 13, 2018 and the views already expressed by your good self as the sitting Attorney General of the Federation and the former Minister of State, Ministry of Petroleum Resources on my role with respect to the implementation of OPL 245 Settlement Agreement,” he said.
While stating that he is not adverse to the federal government’s claims before the Milan court, Adoke expressed concern that Lucia has been allowed to present to the court, deliberate false statements against him in support of the federal government’s case.
“As a Nigerian, I am not only entitled to the protection of my government. I therefore feel compelled to request you to call Mr. Lucio Lucia to order in order to preserve the dignity and respect of your high office as well as prevent my rights from being trampled upon by foreign elements acting in cohort with their Nigerian collaborators,” he added.