P&ID: Adoke Writes Malami, Demands Apology for ‘Defamation’
Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN Nigeria’s former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, has accused his successor, Abubakar Malami, SAN of giving false evidence against him in the P&ID case.
In his witness statement filed at High Court of Justice of England and Wales, Malami had described Adoke as corrupt, saying he was “heavily implicated in the OPL 245 case” and suggesting that he colluded with the lawyer to make the country lose the P&ID arbitration.
The Nigerian government is trying to get a $9.6 billion arbitration award upturned by proving corruption and conspiracy on the part of P&ID and past Nigerian government officials.
Adoke, in a letter written by his lawyer, Paul Erokoro, and dated July 28, 2020, said the same Malami had written to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to absolve him of any wrongdoing in the OPL 245 transaction.
The former minister also said that Malami contracted himself in the witness statement because in one breath, he said Adoke refused to collect gratification from Supo Shasore, the Nigerian lawyer, and in another breath described Adoke as “corrupt”.
‘HONOURBALE AND DISHONORUABLE’
“In your letter of 20th September, 2017, addressed to the Acting Chairman of EFCC, you had explicitly advised that a review of the OPL 245 Resolution Agreement did not disclose a case against Mr. Adoke. In effect, you had, as Attorney-General, exonerated Mr. Adoke of any wrongdoing in relation to the OPL 245 settlement agreements, contrary to your evidence in the English Court,” Erekoro wrote.
He also said Malami had, in the witness statement, admitted that “Adoke refused a gift of money from the lawyer that he had appointed to conduct the arbitration. Yet, instead of lauding him, you accused him of being corrupt”.
In another instance, he said at the same time as Malami was characterising Adoke “as a corrupt villain, you were also urging his truthfulness on the English Court. In paragraph 11 of your Fifth Witness Statement, you relied on the truth of Mr. Adoke’s statement to the EFCC to impugn the credibility of Ms. Grace Taiga. How can Mr. Adoke be honourable and dishonourable at the same time?”
The lawyer also raised an eyebrow over Malami’s request that the US government should furnish him information on bank accounts “operated” by Adoke in the country.
He said Malami concealed information from the English court when he discovered that Adoke did not have any foreign account.
‘CEASE AND DESIST’
“Our client asserts boldly that throughout his stay in government, he had no foreign account. He only opened a student account when he became a student at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands in 2016. Your office is aware that the funds in that account are less than €100. You therefore owed it as a duty to also tell the English court that the US authorities found no accounts belonging to our client. Rather, you concealed those facts from the court,” Erekoro wrote.
He gave Malami seven days to retract the “false evidence” that he gave to the English Court and demanded an apology “for the harm you have done to his name”.
Adoke is also demanding that Malami should instruct the Nigeria’s counsel in England to “cease and desist” from repeating the allegations of corruption and other “defamatory imputations” broadcast about him.
He also wants Nigeria’s counsel redact the records of that court and remove the “offensive references” to him.
“Our client demands that you propose appropriate monetary compensation for the violation of his constitutional rights and for the damage to his reputation,” Erekoro wrote.
“Our client will appreciate it if you meet his demands within seven days of your receipt of this letter.”
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