The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, has not received any request from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to commence extradition proceedings against his predecessor, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, a source confirmed to our correspondent on Friday.
Adoke, who has been outside the country since last year, refused to honour an invitation by the anti-graft agency to answer questions about his roles in the $2bn Malabu oil deal.
Only the AGF office can initiate extradition proceedings against any person who is abroad but being wanted in Nigeria or vice-versa.
Many had thought that the mutual legal assistance Nigeria recently signed with some countries were targeted at some former government officials, such Adoke, who is being sought by the EFCC for questioning.
The former minister confirmed his invitation by the EFCC in his widely reported letter, dated December 31, 2015 and addressed to the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.
Adoke stated that three weeks before writing the letter to the Vice President, the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation informed him that the Federal Ministry of Justice received a letter from the EFCC inviting him (Adoke) to its office for an interview on the Malabu Oil Transaction with Shell/ENI.
He said he had asked for the rescheduling of the said EFCC interview for December 28, 2015 to enable him to conclude his semester examinations at the University of Leiden, in the Netherlands, where he said he was pursuing an Advanced LL.M Degree in Public International Law.
He explained in the letter, in which he maintained his innocence on the roles he played in the Malabu oil deal, that he later decided not to honour the invitation by the EFCC because he realised it was allegedly designed to humiliate him.
A credible source in the office of the AGF told our correspondent on Sunday that the minister had not received any request for assistance on how to compel his predecessor to appear before the EFCC for questioning.
The source said, “Yes, the AGF has a supervisory role on the EFCC but will not unduly interfere with the agencies’ work.
“The EFCC has the power to make anybody answer questions with respect to an investigation and the AGF is always ready to render assistance to the commission where necessary. But the EFCC has not made any request to the AGF as far as the case of the former minister (Adoke) is concerned.
“If the AGF receives any of such requests, he will be willing to grant it.”
When contacted by our correspondent on Tuesday, EFCC’s spokesperson, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, promised to find out details about the plan of the anti-graft agency in response to Adoke’s refusal to honour the invitation for questioning.
He promised to give a feedback to our correspondent but that did not happen as of the time of filing this report about 6pm on Sunday.
Adoke was invited by the anti-graft agency to explain his roles in the decision to settle out of court between the parties involved in the Oil Prospecting Licence 245 deal which led to the Federal Government being paid only $210m out of the $2bn.
The EFCC wants Adoke to explain how huge sums of money were paid to certain individuals and groups named in the deal.
Maintaining his innocence, Adoke had in his letter to the Vice President, referred to some online publications, which he said indicated that the investigation into the Malabu deal was allegedly orchestrated to malign him.
The letter had read in part, “It is apparent from these publications that the intention is not necessarily the clarifications sought by the EFCC, but a carefully orchestrated plan for my assured unjustified persecution, humiliation and disgrace by a known group with interest in the Malabu matter that are aggrieved over my official role in the resolution of the case.
“The said group has now joined forces with those desperate to malign me by using the present investigation by the EFCC to humiliate my person. My refusal to take a particular position they had sought and impressed upon me after the resolution of the matter was concluded is the root of all this blackmail.
“Your Excellency, I make bold to state that any responsible Attorney General of the Federation would have done what I did to safeguard the interest of the country and avoid a liability that potentially stood against the country.”