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Malabu: Malami insists Adoke must be prosecuted

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Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami (SAN) has urged a Federal High Court in Abuja to dismiss a suit challenging the competence of the charges filed against ex-AGF, Mohammed Adoke (SAN) and others over their alleged involvement in the $1.1bn Malabu Oil scam.

Malami also insisted that Adoke and others named in the charges must subject them selves to the court’s jurisdiction to prove their innocence.

The AGF position is contained in the documents he filed opposing Adoke’s suit before a Federal High Court in Abuja, urged the court to decline jurisdiction to hear the case.

He argued that such civil suit “cannot be used to stop criminal prosecution already initiated”.

Malami noted in his papers that the charges which its validity Adoke was challenging were five counts involving the fraudulent transfer of billions of dollars derived from the Oil Processing Licence 245 deal.

Adoke had in May 2017 filed his suit against his successor as the sole defendant, urging the court to declare as illegal his prosecution by the EFCC with respect to his involvement in the deal between Malabu Oil and Gas Limited and the Federal Government over OPL 245.

Malami, through the Permanent Secretary and the Solicitor-General of the Federation of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. Dayo Apata, filed in response to the suit, a notice of preliminary objection challenging the competence of the suit and the court’s jurisdiction to hear it.

He also filed a counter-affidavit challenging the merit of the case.

Malami contended in his notice of preliminary objection that the suit was not only competent but that a civil suit such as Adoke’s could not be used to stop a criminal trial that had been instituted.

The four grounds of Malami’s preliminary objection to the suit read, “The plaintiff has not disclosed any cause of action in the suit.

“The civil suit cannot be used to stop criminal prosecution already initiated.

“That the plaintiff’s suit as constituted is incompetent.

“That this honourable court lacks jurisdiction to hear and determine the plaintiff’s suit.”

Thomas Etah of the Federal Ministry of Justice who deposed to the AGF’s counter-affidavit, stated that Adoke’s suit did not disclose any dispute between the former AGF and his successor, since it was EFCC that investigated the case and found it worthy to institute the charges.

Malami described Adoke’s suit as an abuse of court process, as he insisted that contrary to the former AGF’s claim in the suit, the charges initiated against him by the EFCC had nothing to do with “actions authorised by the President”.

The counter-affidavit read in part,, “That from the documents and the processes, the plaintiff did not show any dispute between him and the defendant.

“That the plaintiff’s suit does not disclose any cause of action.

“That there are allegations of commission of financial crime by the plaintiff.

“That the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has investigated the activities relating to the said money and has come to the conclusion that a prima facie case has been established against the plaintiff.

“That the EFCC has drafted and filed a five-count charge against the plaintiff. A copy of the charge sheet dated January 30, 2017, the verifying affidavit dated March 2, 2017 together with the proof of evidence and dated March 2, 2017, all of which were filed on March 2, 2017, is hereby attached and numbered as Exhibit HAGF.

“That the charges filed against the plaintiff does not relate to actions authorised by the President to be carried out by the plaintiff.

“That the plaintiff’s suit is an abuse of court process.”

Adoke had maintained in his originating summons that his involvement in the Malabu Oil deal as a serving minister was based on the presidential directive of former president, Goodluck Jonathan.
In the suit filed on his legal team led by another former AGF, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), Adoke asked the court to determine whether by virtue of sections 5(1), 147(1), 148(1) and 150(1) of the 1999 Constitution a serving minister of the country could perform the “executive power of federation vested on the President as directed by the President.”

He urged the court to declare that his involvement in the negotiation between the Nigerian government and Malabu Oil and gas Limited, Shell, Nigeria national Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Agip in the matter of OPL 245 was in “furtherance of the lawful directive/approval of the president in the exercise of his powers.”

The former AGF also asked the court to declare that any correspondence he had with J.P Morgan and any other entity and ancillary actions and processes taken in respect to the Malabu Oil deal was in obedience to the lawful directive of the president in the exercise of his executive power.

He also urged the court to declare that his prosecution by the EFCC in respect of Malabu deal on the account of carrying out the president’s directive was illegal, null and void.

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Why PMB did not attend the Presidential debate – FESTUS KEYAMO

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari


WHY PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI DID NOT ATTEND THE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE ORGANISED BY THE NIGERIA ELECTION DEBATE GROUP AND THE BROADCASTING ORGANISATIONS OF NIGERIA

The President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who is also the APC Presidential Candidate in the forthcoming Presidential Election, President Muhammadu Buhari, could not attend the Presidential Debate organised by the Nigeria Election Debate Group and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria which held today, Saturday, January 19, 2019 for the following reasons:

Firstly, out of several opportunities afforded our candidate to interact with the Nigerian people directly by different organisations, our presidential candidate has taken full advantage of another town-hall meeting organized by another group which held on Wednesday, January 16, 2019. He was also joined at that town-hall meeting by our Vice-Presidential candidate who is also the Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN. Nigerians from all walks of life who were physically present and through on-line platforms asked uncensored questions which were adequately answered. It was also transmitted live by various broadcast networks in Nigeria.

In addition, the busy and hectic official and campaign schedules of Mr. President clashed with this programme. Today, Mr. President commissioned the Baro Inland Water Port in Niger State and campaigned in Niger and Plateau States where his time was over-stretched by the tumultuous and mammoth crowds in both States, (as seen by Nigerians on live television) and only returned to Abuja late this evening.

Whilst we thank the organisers for the invitation, we want to assure Nigerians that we shall continue to hold these debate groups and Nigerians in high esteem which our candidate has demonstrated during past election debates when he honoured similar invitations. Nigerians will also recall that a few weeks ago, our Vice-Presidential candidate, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, also attended the debate organized by the same organisations.

Lastly, we note the statement of the candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who actually came for the event and left the venue when he did not see Mr. President, who is our candidate. According to him, he would not want to “attack” Mr. President in his absence.

It should now be obvious to Nigerians that for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the PDP, this election is all about attacking the person and programmes of Mr. President and not about proffering their own solutions to the problems they created during their sixteen years of misrule, maladministration and looting of the nation’s resources. When they cannot see President Buhari to attack, the content of their campaign becomes hollow, empty and “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”. Now that Atiku Abubakar had a unique opportunity to explain to Nigerians his own vision and mission without a President Buhari in the picture, he ran away. Afterall, he has his own eight years of crass and grand corruption as Vice President to defend before the Nigerian people.

On February 16, 2019 we urge Nigerians to demonstrate to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the PDP, through their votes, how empty indeed their campaign has always been and to vote massively for President Muhammadu Buhari and Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN who have started the rebuilding process of our great nation.

Thank you.

FESTUS KEYAMO,SAN, FCIArb (UK)
Director, Strategic Communications,
APC Presidential Campaign Council.
(Official Spokesperson).

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*#We came here for a Presidential debate, not a candidacy debate* – Atiku

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…I regret that I will not be able to go on with this debate due to President Buhari’s absence.

*We came here for a Presidential debate, not a candidacy debate , and I, Atiku Abubakar can not challenge or question an administration where the man at the helm of the affairs of the nation is not present to defend himself or his policies. After all you cannot shave a man’s head in his absence.*

I do not believe in attacking a man who is NOT here to defend himself. As a leader and former vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, let me first apologise to all Nigerians, my fellow candidates and the moderator for the the APC Presidential Candidates absence in this debate. His non-appearance is a slight on ALL of us and our democracy.

*Secondly, with all due respect to my fellow candidates, Fela Durotoye, Oby Ezekwesili, Kingsley Moghalu and to the moderator Mark Sugar and with apologies to all Nigerians here and at home expecting an interesting debate, I regret that I will not be able to go on with this debate due to President Buhari’s absence.*

I however challenge President Buhari to choose a date and time for a debate where he will be present and I will be there, hopefully with the other candidates as well.

Thank you and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

– Atiku Abubakar

*#ComeOutAndVote*

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Atiku returns to Nigeria

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Welcome Back Atiku

Welcome Back Atiku

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has returned to Nigeria.

Atiku left for the United States on Thursday.

Atiku’s plane touched down at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport in Abuja around 3:30pm.

Meanwhile, the presidential debate organised by the Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) will hold today, Saturday January 19, in Abuja.

The debate is scheduled to hold by 7pm at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, the same venue where the vice-presidential debate held on Friday, December 14, 2018.

It will be transmitted live on all BON member stations and its affiliates and streamed live on all social media platforms.

Only five political parties have been selected to participate.

They are: the Allied Congress Party Of Nigeria (ACPN), the Alliance For New Nigeria (ANN), All Progressives Congress (APC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and The Young Progressive Party (YPP).

This means the candidates expected at the debate are President Muhammadu Buhari, Atiku Abubakar, Oby Ezekwesili, Fela Durotoye and Kingsley Moghalu.

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