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HEDA Releases New Statement On OPL 245 Malabu Oil Deal Controversies.

HEDA Resource Centre and three other international anti-corruption partners were the subjects of wholly unfounded allegations of forging an email that seek to indict Mr. Adoke of complicity in the diversion of over a billion US dollars of Nigeria’s money to a private bank account from the Malabu oil deal. Despite the fact that the email in question was furnished by the UK authorities in response to a Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) request by the Milan Prosecutor (Italy) in the trial of Eni, Shell and others for international corruption related to the OPL 245 transaction in 2011. Though the defendants in that trial were acquitted, that ruling actually indicted Mr. Muhammed Bello Adoke even though he was not on that charge list. Equally the Milan Prosecutors and the Federal Republic of Nigeria have appealed the judgement in Italy. You would also be aware of a purported police report published in some online media platforms alleging that the police indict Olanrewaju Suraju of cyber stalking and accused HEDA of being an unregistered organisation. We therefore wish to set the records straight and cut the wind off the sail of the lies and shenanigans of Mr. Adoke and group.

The email in question was sent by a Mohammed Bello Adoke on 21 June 2011 to JP Morgan Chase bank. The email address used was agroupproperties@yahoo.com. The allegations of forgery were made by Mohammed Bello Adoke SAN, a person under investigation and prosecution by the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). As set out below, the allegation that we forged the email is entirely fanciful. Our own research confirms that the email is associated with a Mr. Aliyu Abubakar and two of his companies that benefited from the OPL 245 deal. If, as claimed by Mr. Adoke SAN, that the email was not sent by him, there is thus a strong likelihood that it emanated from Mr. Aliyu Abubakar or an associate or employee of his companies. If so, there are strong grounds for suspecting that the email was a cybercrime, involving the impersonation of Mr. Adoke in order to defraud the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) of funds that should, on the FRN’s own account, have benefited Nigeria.[1] Please note that this is a case in which the Nigeria has invested inestimable resources and provided immense technical and professional support to partner agencies in Italy, UK and the Netherlands, hence the need to lay the facts bare in public domain.

The Email in Context: Correspondence between JP Morgan Chase and FGN officials (or purported officials) in 2011

The Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) is currently suing JP Morgan Chase in the English High Court for damages relating to the bank’s handling of funds arising from Shell and Eni’s allegedly corrupt acquisition of the OPL 245 oil field in Nigeria (case number: CL-2017-000730). At paragraph 54D of the FRN’s Re-Re-Amended Particulars of Claim, the FRN states that, on 21 July 2011, Mohamed Adoke, who was Attorney General of Federation at the time of the deal, corresponded with JP Morgan from the email address “agroupproperties@yahoo.com”. At paragraph 46D of JPMC’s Re-Re-Amended Defence, JPMC admits to the existence and content of the email. As the FRN points out at paragraph 54E of its Re-Re-Amended claim, A Group is a group of Nigerian companies controlled by Mr Abubakar Aliyu. A company named A Group Construction and another called Novel Properties and Development Company Ltd subsequently became vehicles through which some of the OPL 245 funds transferred by JP Morgan to a company named Malabu Oil & Gas were disbursed.

The email forms part of a chain of correspondence between JPMC and officials of the administration of former President Jonathan. Ultimately, this correspondence led to JPMC transferring a whopping $801 million to Malabu Oil & Gas – money that should have gone to the Federation Account.

The FRN’s Re-Re-Amended Particulars of Claim sets out the trail of emails and correspondences with the bank that led to this loss. This chronology, together with the FRN’s commentary, is set detailed below.

The email from a “Mohammed Bello Adoke” is highlighted in red. As will be seen, it formed part of a series of emails and phone calls aimed at persuading JP Morgan to transfer funds arising from the OPL 245 transaction to Malabu Oil & Gas. In court proceedings in the UK, the FRN has 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.”[2]

24th May 2011

“The sum of USD1,092,040,000 was deposited in the Escrow Account. This was the money which had been received from the Shell/Eni Consortium. On the same day, the said sum of USD1,092,040,000 was transferred from the Escrow Account to the FGN Depository Account”.

25th May 2011

“… apparently on the instructions of the Federal Minister of Finance Aganga (but sent by a fax machine from the Transcorp Hilton hotel in Abuja, rather than the Ministry of Finance), [JPMC] was instructed to transfer US$1,092,040,000 to Petrol Service Co. Ltd (although the account in fact belonged to Petrol Service Co. LP)2 at BSI Lugano in Switzerland IBAN: CH72P8465DODA209798AA SWIFT: BSILCH22, Account No: A209798AA”.

31st May 2011

“… in accordance with the instruction, the funds were sent to the account of Petrol Services Co. Limited at BSI Lugano Bank”.

3 June 2011

“Bayo Osolake on behalf of the Defendant informed Attorney General Adoke and Federal Minister of Finance Aganga by email (to their private personal email addresses) that BSI had rejected the attempted payment to Petrol Service Co. LP for compliance reasons”.

21st June 2011

“Bayo Osolake (as a representative of the Defendant) received an email sent by Attorney General Adoke from the email address ‘agroupproperties@yahoo.com’, attaching copies of each of the Resolution Agreements”.

8th July 2011

“Danladi Kifasi, purportedly the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Finance of the FGN, instructed JPMC to transfer a lesser amount of USD 877 million to an account this time held by Malabu itself at Banque Misr Liban sal, in Lebanon”.

13th July 2011

“[JPMC expressed] some concern about the instruction, based on a procedural issue”.

15th July 2011

“[JPMC] received an email from lsmaila Aliyu, describing himself as representing the Federal Ministry of Finance of the FGN. The email was addressed to Bayo Osolake (the representative of the Defendant referred to above) and gave yet a further set of instructions to transfer funds, this time the sum of US$802,040,000 from the FGN account to an account belonging to Malabu. The email was not sent from a Federal Ministry of Finance email account in Nigeria, but was sent from a private email account in the UK”.

18th July 2011

“[JPMC] received a hard copy payment instruction to the same effect as the instruction referred to in paragraph 62 above, signed by Danladi Kifasi and dated 11th July 2011”.

20th July 2011

“[JPMC] received a further hard copy payment instruction to the same effect, again signed by Danladi Kifasi and dated 18th July 2011”.

20th July 2011

“… a letter was sent from Yerima Lawan Ngama, Minister of Finance FGN and Otunla Jonah Ogunniyi, the Accountant General of the Federation to the Defendant, requesting that the Defendant transfer the lesser sum of USD801,540,000 to Malabu’s account with Banque Misr Liba Sal in Lebanon and USD215,000,000 to the account of Court Funds Office of England and Wales, in order to secure compliance with the freezing order in respect of the litigation commenced by EVP. It was sent both in hard copy (received by [JPMC] on 25th July 2011), and by fax from a fax machine located in the Transcorp Hilton hotel in Abuja”.

22nd July 2011

“… a letter was sent on behalf of [JPMC] by Stefanla Maulucci, Vice President JPMorgan Escrow Services to Dr.Yerima Lawan Ngama, Minister of State for Finance, stating that customer checks were being initiated, and a meeting was requested”.

22nd July 2011

“… in the context of separate English proceedings that had been commenced by EVP against Malabu (seeking, amongst other things, a freezing injunction against funds received by Malabu from the Defendant), Steel J required the parties to the English proceedings and the Defendant to bring to the attention of the Nigerian High Commission and the FGN to the nature and content of the English proceedings. [JPMC] complied with the judge’s order, and sent letters to the Nigerian High Commission and Dr Ngama, the Minister of Finance”.

25th July 2011

“a letter was sent from Yerima Lawan Ngama Minister of Finance FGN and Otunla Jonah Ogunniyi the Accountant General of the Federation to [JPMC], instructing [JPMC] to irrevocably transfer the sum of USD801,540,000 to Malabu’s account with Banque Misr Liba Sal in Lebanon and USD215,000,000 to the account of Court Funds Office of England and Wales, in order, to secure compliance with the freezing order in respect of the litigation commenced by EVP. It was sent both in hard copy (received by the Defendant on 28th July 2011), and by fax from a fax machine located in the Transcorp Hilton hotel in Abuja”.

Undated (but towards end of July)

“Steel J later received a letter addressed to him from the then Attorney General of Nigeria, Mohamed Bello Adoke. This letter was summarised in the judgment and thereby entered the public domain. The Attorney General represented that the Resolution Agreements had been concluded with the full knowledge of the FGN which believed that they were in the public interest of the Nigerian people for reasons which he set out . . .”

“. . . Notwithstanding the receipt of this letter from Adoke, Steel J continued to express serious concerns about the proposed transaction”.[3]

3rd August 2011

“.. a payment was again requested to be made to the Malabu account in Lebanon. Although the payment instruction purportedly came from the Ministry of Finance in Abuja, once again it was sent to [JPMC] via a fax machine located in the Transcorp Hilton hotel in Abuja. The payment instruction was accompanied by a letter from Dr. Ngama, Minister of Finance, nominating new authorised signatories under the Depository Agreement. That letter was in fact drafted by the [JPMC]: a draft of the letter was sent by Tosin Adewuyi of [JPMC] to the personal email address of Ismaila Aliyu, Director of the Office of the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Finance, earlier on 3rd August 2011. That transfer failed, because it was (once again) rejected by the recipient bank”.

10th August 2011

“… in a letter from Faisal Ansari Executive Director JPMorgan Escrow Services to Yerima Lawan Ngama, Minister of Finance, he informed the FGN that the payment to Malabu had been rejected by the Lebanese bank, [JPMC] also requested information as to the purpose of the transfer, justifying the relationship between the FGN and the final beneficiary”.

“On the same day, the Attorney General of Nigeria replied to [JPMC] and set out the relationship between the FGN and Malabu and represented ‘the payments – due and payable to Malabu are legitimate and flow from the Settlement Agreement. The payments represent Malabu Oil and Gas Limited’s consideration for relinquishing their interests in Block 245’”.

16th August 2011

“… in a further letter from Yerima Lawan Ngama, Minister of Finance and Otunla Jonah Ogunniyil, Accountant General of the Federation, [JPMC] was asked to transfer US$401,540,000 to a Malabu account (number 2018288005) with First Bank of Nigeria plc in Nigeria and US$400,000,000 to a Malabu account (number 3610042472) with Keystone Bank Nigeria Limited in Nigeria. Although this instruction purported to come from the Ministry of Finance, once more it was sent from a fax machine located at the Transcorp Hilton hotel in Abuja”.

23rd August 2011

“… the Defendant made the transfer to the two newly nominated Malabu accounts in Nigeria”.

Additional documentation strongly suggests that:

1. Mohamed Bello Adoke knew the email address of Bayo Osolake, the JP Morgan employee to whom the email of 21 June 2011 from agroupproperties@yahoo.com was sent, prior to the transmission of the said email.

2. Former Attorney General Mohamed Bello Adoke sought to issue transfer instructions to JP Morgan Chase on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) on 20 June 2011 when he was not an office holder. This was illegal.

3. Mohamed Bello Adoke likely caused the said email of 21 June 2011 to be sent on his behalf.

The Additional Documents

Details of the additional documents are set out below:

· Document 1: Email from “bayo.o.osolake@jpmmorgan.com” to “mbadoke@yahoo.com”, subject: “Federal Government of Nigeria Escrow Account”, 13 May 2011.

On 13 May 2011, Bayo Osolake of JP Morgan’s Treasury and Securities Services emailed Mr Adoke at mbadoke@yahoo.com (Tab 1).

The email was sent to follow up an in-person meeting on 12 May 2011 between Mr Adoke, then the Attorney General, and Mr Osolake to discuss the opening of a Federal Government of Nigeria escrow account with JP Morgan.

The email establishes that Mr. Osolake was Mr. Adoke’s prime contact at JP Morgan and that Mr Adoke had Osolake’s email address from at least 13 May 2011.

Document 2: Email from Simon Lloyd, JP Morgan, “FGN Summary of the facts”, 24 June 2011

On 24 June 2011, Simon Lloyd (Executive Director, J.P. Morgan – EMEA AML and Sanctions Compliance) emailed JP Morgan executives Ian Lyall, Daniel White and Carmel Speers with a timeline of events preceding and following the rejection on 3 June 2011[4] by BSI Lugano, a Swiss bank, of a transfer of $1,092,015,000 to Petrol Services from a depository account held by the FGN with JP Morgan (account number 41451493). The account had been set up on 20 May 2011 pursuant to a Resolution Agreement dated 29 April 2011 in respect of Oil Prospecting Licence 245. The funds in the account originated from the sale of the OPL 245 license to Shell and Eni.

“On the 20th June a call was received from Mr Adoke, the former Nigerian Minister of Justice and Attorney General. Adoke stated that FGN would like to give JPM another instruction to make payment to a separate account number in another bank. Mr Adoke proposed that in the absence of a serving Minister of Finance (new cabinet yet to be appointed), the instructions to JPM would come from the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Finance (highest civil servant in the Ministry). JPM response was that this would not be sufficient and JPM would need to be instructed by the new Minister of Finance who in the agreement is the authorised representative of FGN.”

Mr Adoke has confirmed through his lawyer Kanu G Agabi, CON, SAN of Kanu G. Agabi & Associates that he was not an officer of the Nigerian State or government appointee as of 20 June. In a petition sent to the Inspector General of Police on behalf of Adoke, which is available online,[5] Mr Agabi writes in respect of the 21 June 2011 email from agroupproperties@yahoo.com:

“The email is dated 21 June 2011, this was at the time, Mr Mohammed Bello Adoke SAN was not in office as the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation, owing to the dissolution of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan before his swearing-in on 29 May 2011 as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and our client was only re-appointed as Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice on 2 July 2011. During the period; 29 May 2011-2 July 2011, Mr Mohammed Bello Adoke SAN was on holiday abroad as a private citizen, and did not have any dealings with official matters on behalf of the Government of the Federation of Nigeria including official matters about the OPL 245 settlement Agreement in the form of the email 21/06/2011, as it was inconceivable as a private citizen” (our emphasis).

The Simon Lloyd email strongly suggests that this was untrue and that Mr Adoke illegally sought to act as a private citizen on behalf of the Federation of Nigeria on 20 June 2011.

The Milan Prosecutor’s MLA to the UK

The email of 21 June 2011 from the agroupproperties@yahoo.com address was accepted as evidence in the Milan trial in late January 2021.

The process whereby it became part of the Court file is detailed below:

· On 23rd November 2020, after Corner House, Global Witness and Re:Common became aware of the FRN’s Re-Re-Amended Particulars of Claim in the FRN vs JPMC case, they wrote to the Milan Prosecutor to draw his attention to the email, which was believed to be relevant to the prosecution in Milan of Royal Dutch Shell, Eni Spa, Mr. Dan Etete and others for alleged international corruption in relation to the OPL 245 deal. All the defendants have subsequently been acquitted.

On 24 November 2020, the Milan Prosecutor issued a European Investigation Order (EIO) to the UK, seeking the email from JP Morgan.

On 18 December 2020, the UK’s Serious Fraud Office responded to the EIO, furnishing the email to the Milan Prosecutor’s office.[6]

· On 20 January 2021, the Milan Prosecutor sought permission in open court from the Milan Tribunal to have the email accepted as evidence. The official court transcript records that the Prosecutor detailed the procedure through which the email had been obtained from JP Morgan by the UK authorities.[7]

· The Milan Tribunal subsequently accepted the email as evidence in the trial and the Prosecutor presented it to the court on 3 February 2021.[8]

The Forgery Allegations

The presentation of the email to the Milan Tribunal received wide publicity, both internationally and in Nigeria. In response, Mohamed Adoke’s lawyer Kanu Agabi SAN wrote a petition to Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police (IGP) on 5 February 2021 stating: “The individuals who initiated the petition, investigations and the criminal trial at the court of Milan have engaged in acts of forgery of the email document dated 21 June 2011. . .” Agabi’s letter was officially received by the IGP on 10 February 2021. The letter was published in online newspapers in Nigeria.[9] The Petition also states “the persons or organisations behind these forgeries are the ones that authored the petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), demanding the investigation of the OPL 245 Resolution Agreement”.

Adoke’s lawyers did not name names. However, Global Witness, The Corner House and Re:Common were the signatories to the complaint that led to the investigation and subsequent prosecution in Milan. HEDA Resource Centre had also submitted a petition to Nigeria’s EFCC that led to the current prosecution of Messrs Adoke and Aliyu in Nigeria.

Our Response to the Forgery Allegations

On 1 March 2021, Corner House, Re:Common and HEDA wrote to the Inspector General of Police (Find attached a copy of the letter), categorically denying Mr Adoke’s assertions that we had forged the email. The letter was copied to the Milan Public Prosecutor’s Office and the UK Home Office, either of which would have been able to demonstrate the veracity of the following facts:

· The email first came to light in late 2020 as part of civil proceedings by the Federal Republic of Nigeria against JP Morgan Chase [JPMC] in the High Court in London, where it was disclosed by JPMC and cited by the FRN in support of its claim.

· The Milan Prosecutor obtained the email through a Mutual Legal Assistance request to the UK Government.

· The email, which was sent from an email account associated with A Group Properties, was received by an employee of JPMC, who had previous correspondence with Mr. Adoke, on 21 June 2011. At the time, none of our groups knew of the existence of A Group Properties, nor of the OPL 245 Resolution Agreements that were attached to the email. At the time, these Agreements were secret and would only have been accessible to parties to the deal, their associates and government officials. The existence of the Resolution Agreements did not come into the public domain until late 2011, months after the email was sent. This alone suggests that the email was sent or initiated by someone with official access to the documents.

· The original email as received by JPMC will have properties and electronic information that would enable the identification of the IP address from which it was sent.

In our letter to the IGP, we stated:

“We recognise that the email would certainly appear damaging to Mr Adoke. It is therefore understandable that he should try to discredit it. However, the notion that a document furnished by the UK in response to an MLA is a forgery is both entirely fanciful and highly damaging to the reputation of trusted parties to the MLA process. It was obtained through a government-to-government request from Italy to the United Kingdom. The documentation is now part of the public record and it is clear from the correspondence that the email was obtained from JP Morgan by the UK Serious Fraud Office and transmitted directly to the Milan Prosecutor. None of the organisations or officials was involved at any stage in the chain of custody.

The email would certainly appear damaging to Mr Adoke, who is charged in Nigeria with a number of offences arising from the OPL 245 deal. Specifically, the email points to an association between Mohammed Bello Adoke and the Abubakar company that subsequently arranged the purchase of a house for Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke SAN.

Mr. Adoke failed to challenge this alleged forged document when it was submitted by the Milan Prosecutor to the Milan Court during prosecution of Mr. Etete and other defendants. We had suspected that Mr Adoke’s complaint to the police was a deliberate attempt to pervert the course of justice and subsequently submitted a counter petition to the Police with details of the matter for proper investigation (Copy attached). This counter petition was assigned to DIG, FCID who subsequently directed the cybercrimes unit to investigate the petition. Please note the fact that Mr. Adoke, was repatriated from the United Arab Emirate by the Nigerian Government (https://barristerng.com/dubai-repatriates-ex-agf-adoke-over-malabu-shell-agip-case/); and that Messrs Adoke and Abubakar are facing trials in three different cases arising from the investigation of the OPL 245 case (FHC/ABJ/CR/39/2017, FHC/ABJ/CR/268/2016, CR/124/17).

In addition, the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) has recovered $78million related to the OPL 245 deal from the UK – money that was recovered as stolen assets: the FRN is also a civil party to the Milan trial. Depending on the outcome of that trial, the Nigerian State stands to benefit potentially from substantial further compensation.”

Abubakar Aliyu and agroupproperties@yahoo.com

Since writing to the Inspector General of Police, we have made further investigations into the address from which the email was sent.

Filings registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission reveal that agroupproperties@yahoo.com has been used as the email address for A Group Construction, a company established on 8 March 2001 [CAC filings attached]. The CAC filings include a Resolution on company headed paper dated 26 September 2011. The email address given for the company is agroupproperties@yahoo.com. This establishes that the address was associated with the company from at least that date.

A Group Construction is one of six companies known to have received parts of the $801,000,000 transferred by JP Morgan to Malabu Oil & Gas. The company received $157 million.

Mr Aliyu Abubakar was a founding director and shareholder of A Group Construction and still held those roles in 2011 when the email was sent and when the company received monies from the OPL 245 deal.

Bank documents relating to a First Bank account for Novel Properties and Development Company Ltd also record the email agroupproperties@yahoo.com being given as the contact email for Aliyu Abubakar. The bank documents (attached) form part of the Milan case file and are now public documents.

Novel Properties and Development Company Ltd also received money emanating from the OPL 245 deal to the tune of $30 million.

Mr. Bello Mohammed Adoke has a long standing relationship with Mr. Abubakar Aliyu. In his recently published autobiography titled “Burden of Service”, Mr. Adoke admitted this much when he said, “… Alhaji Aliyu Abubakar, a builder and a developer whom I had been acquainted with for a long time, had earlier approached me with an offer to sell me a house for N500 million.”

Mr Abubakar, like Mr Adoke, is currently being prosecuted by the EFCC for money laundering and other charges in relation to the OPL 245 deal.

Mr Adoke is barking up the wrong tree and police conspiracy:

Since Mr Adoke’s complaint was filed with the IGP, Mr Olanrewaju Suraju, together with his lawyer have attended the IGP monitoring unit office in Abuja, on six occasions. These visits has generated considerable travel and accommodation costs, given that Mr Suraju is normally based in Lagos.

However, during the last 4 months, a separate investigation into the origin of the email in question was commenced by the Police Cybercrimes Unit, together with Interpol, based on the counter petition submitted to the IGP. Please note that the IGP officially announced the disbandment of the IGP Units outside Abuja and reform of the Abuja Unit[10]. As such, the IGP Unit investigation files were supposed to be transferred over to the Cybercrimes Unit, for a professional and conclusive investigation.

Despite these circumstances, the Adoke Petition was curiously retained by IGP Monitoring Unit, defying a clear directive of the IGP and signal from the DIG, FCID on the transfer of the file to Cybercrimes Unit, in cooperation with Interpol. However, what we have seen as an apparent attempt to manipulate police investigations would appear to be at play here. Before discussing these ongoing incidents, and to place our concerns in context, I would emphasise the following:

For the avoidance of doubt, Mr Adoke’s claims are highly defamatory and false, and our organisations utterly refute them and we have filed a civil action for defamation against him.

Mr Adoke’s complaint also accused us of being involved in a purportedly fake telephone interview by a RAI journalist (Italian State broadcaster) with a Mr Adoke. We utterly refute this claim also. RAI did in fact conduct an interview which was claimed to be with a Mr Adoke, and which was broadcast by RAI in Italy, and subsequently widely reported on in Nigeria.

This is a matter for RAI to clarify – None of our organisations had anything to do with it.

Encounters with the IGP Monitoring Unit

Mr. Suraju received a telephone call from the IGP Monitoring Unit, through inspector Abdul on 30 April 2021 inviting him for an interview with Head of the Unit on 1 April, 2021. In line with the organisation’s commitment to the OPL245 matter and support for all institutions of government (NEITI, EFCC, Federal Ministry of Justice) on the matter since 2013. The officer, who invited all parties for the meeting was not available, due to unexpected assignment to Bayelsa State. Another appointment was rescheduled for 14 May 2021. It was on this date that Mr. Suraju was only detained at the Police headquarters, and was only released on bail the next day, with a surety[11] after writing 16 pages of statement.

Considering the nature of interrogation observed to have departed from substance Adoke’s petition and bordering on personal and organisational issues and the IGP’s directive limiting the IGP monitoring Unit’s activities to monitoring of police officers’s conduct, HEDA and our international partners submitted a counter petition to the Inspector General of Police, highlighting the issues, attaching relevant supporting documents and demanded fair, professional and impartial investigation of the petition and the allegations contained in it. This counter petition was assigned to the DIG, FCID by the Inspector General of Police for Investigation.

This counter petition, being investigated by the Cybercrimes Unit and Interpol under the supervision of DIG, FCID obviously gave Adoke and partners sleepless nights. When the cybercrimes unit invited Mr. Suraju, through his lawyer for adoption of the counter-petition, the IGP Unit suddenly woke up, with a new officer in charge, a DSP Chinedu Onwuka, who claimed the file was just assigned to him for review and invited Mr. Suraju for another meeting with Mr. Adoke, at the IGP Unit. Considering the cost implication of traveling to Abuja for both Cybercrimes Unit and the sudden renewed attention of the IGP Monitoring Unit, despite the IGP disbandment and directive for submission of all files in IGP Unit’s possession IGP’s office for appropriate reassignment, lawyers to HEDA and its partners submitted a request for consolidation of the investigation to the IGP office via a letter dated, 8th July, 2021.

Whereas, the IGP unit’s DSP Chinedu Onwuka was particularly desperate to have Mr. Suraju meet with my Adoke, to the extent of visiting HEDA office physically from Abuja by the officer, we approached the court for a fundamental rights enforcement to restrain the IGP unit from arrest or detention of Mr. Suraju, interestingly, this was at a time Mr. suraju was outside the country to attend to personal and family matters. Please note that Mr. Suraju had earlier sued Adoke for defamation of character and demanded compensation since 30th June, 2021[12]. Adoke is yet to reply to the suit, as at the time of this parley, 3 months after.

Visit to IGP Units on return from foreign Trip:

When Mr. Suraju returned from foreign trip on 3rd August, he went into self quarantine in compliance with COVID-19 Protocols, and immediately proceeded to Abuja and met with DSP Onwuka and ASP Dauda on Thursday 12th August, 2021. On that same day, another 4 pages of statement was written for the IGP Unit my Mr. Suraju. His surety, who stood for him during the April first visit to the Unit was traumatised and intimidated by the IGP Unit while Mr. suraju was away and the man withdrew his surety. Another surety had to be secured before he was allowed to eave the Police Head Quarters foe a second time. ASP Dauda went with Mr. Suraju to verify his office on 13th August, 2021. Because neither Mr. Adoke nor his friend, Barrister Ahmed Baggie could make it to IGP Unit on both days, another date was agreed for a return visit by Mr. Suraju

Mr. Suraju eventually returned to the IGP Unit on 19th August, on his way from an official function in Uyo. This time, he met with the new Head of the Unit, ACP Ibrahim Musa in the company of DSP Onwuka and ASP Dauda. This time, Mr. Ahmed Baggie was around. Another round of statement was given. Mr. Baggie then appealed to the Unit Head for a reschedule of the meeting till next day, 20th August, to accommodate the presence of Mr. Adoke. Contrary to the claims in the published report of the IGP Unit, Mr. Suraju gave over 20 pages of Statements and several documents to the IGP Unit and was present at the unit at 6 different times. If un-tampered with, visitors records to the Unit would reveal all these visits by Mr. Suraju to the police on this matter hence one wonder how the purported police report would claim that Mr Suraju did not avail himself for investigation.

Allegation of non verification of email before sharing

This is another laughable nonsense in the purported police report and we challenge the IGP unit to provide evidence of sharing of the email on our twitter and facebook accounts.. Officers of he the Unit demanded for the social media handle of the organisation and Mr. Suraju provided it during one of the interrogation sessions, and this what the phoney report is claiming to be an outcome of Investigation by the Unit?. Addressing the substance of verification, HEDA as a diligent organisation, indeed verified the email through the Italian Prosecutor. (see letter from the prosecutor). HEDA instructed our lawyer to request confirmation of source of the email and the Italian prosecutor replied our lawyer officially, with a copy of the MLA from the United Kingdom and officially confirmed he received the email and other documents from the UK Serious Fraud Office. These documents were submitted to the IGP unit. It is pertinent to ask at this point what investigation did the Unit actually conduct, because if that phoney report is anything to go by, it would appear that rather than conduct any investigations, officers of the Unit were simply acting out Mr. Adoke’s unholy script.

Alleged attempt at connecting Adoke to A.A. Aliyu.

Mr. Bello Mohammed Adoke has a long standing relationship with Mr. Abubakar Aliyu. In his recently published autobiography titled “Burden of Service”, Mr. Adoke admitted this much when he said, “… Alhaji Aliyu Abubakar, a builder and a developer whom I had been acquainted with for a long time, had earlier approached me with an offer to sell me a house for N500 million.”

Mr Abubakar, like Mr Adoke, is currently being prosecuted by the EFCC for money laundering and other charges in relation to the OPL 245 deal in three different cases arising from the investigation of the OPL 245 case (FHC/ABJ/CR/39/2017, FHC/ABJ/CR/268/2016, CR/124/17). Back in 2011, Saharareporters reported a shady deal connected between Adoke, Abubakar Aliyu and Jonathan.[13] There exist long standing relationship between Adoke and Abubakar Aliyu and HEDA or Olanrewaju Suraju could not be the one connecting them those already connected.

Allegation of HEDA as unregister organisation

Nothing can be more ridiculous and embarrassing from a a highly placed policy unit and thus reinforce our suspicion that the purported report from the IGP Unit is a figment of the imagination of Mr. Adoke and his corrupt media lackeys. The Corporate Affairs Commission officially registered HEDA on 24th February 2004. (See the screenshot of the website and certificate). This is an organisation that has instituted local and international actions against government and individuals since 2013 that he got involved in the matter.

Cyber stalking and giving false information to ‘misled’ public officer

HEDA will appreciate where the misinformation arose, with the avalanche of material provided to the IGP Unit. Meanwhile, we take solace in the fact that Cybercrimes Unit and Interpol office of the Police are still investigating and expect a more professional and thorough report from them. There are over 90,000 documents in the case file of the Malabu deal ad we shall be producing them for public consumption over time.In conclusion, we wish to restate for the umpteenth time that the true substance of this matter is that some crooks stole from the people of Nigeria over a billion dollars and are desperate to subvert the cause of justice so that they could get away with their crime by any means possible. The other substance is to establish whether indeed HEDA and our partners forged an email which we only came to know about when it was presented in evidence in open court, and that if not Muhammed Bello Adoke, then who originated that email? It is unfortunate that despite the claims by the Government of the day to fighting corruption, some persons of ill intention are still able to manipulate critical institutions of Government to fester their criminal interests. Olanrewaju Suraju, HEDA Resource Centre and our international anti-corruption partners have suffered considerable reputation assault by the manipulation of the facts by Mr. Adoke and his turncoat media charlatans. We intend to explore the full extent of the law to seek redress and succour. We must at this juncture praise and commend the vast investigative work done by Nigeria and foreign media in unravelling this fraud, particularly the effort of Premium Times and Sahara Reporters stand out, and formed a major source of all the information we have used in prosecuting this patriotic campaign.

Being Text of a Statement delivered by Executive Secretary HEDA Resource Centre at the Civil Society and Media Parley on OPL 245 Oil Deal and Recent Local Development in the Matter Held at The Colossus, Sheraton-Opebi Link Road, Ikeja, Lagos on the 29th of September 2021.

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