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The Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed the money laundering charges brought against former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Bello Adoke.

The charges were related to the controversial Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 245, commonly known as the Malabu Oil deal, during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.


Judge Inyang Ekwo upheld the “no-case submission” filed by Adoke after the conclusion of the prosecution’s case by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

A no-case submission requests the court to acquit the defendant without the need for them to present a defense, based on the presumption that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case.

The ruling emphasized the lack of substantial evidence linking Adoke to the alleged offenses, leading to his discharge and acquittal.

However, the judge dismissed the no-case submission filed by Adoke’s co-defendant, Aliyu Abubakar, ordering Abubakar to present his defense in the trial.

This verdict aligns with a previous judgment by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Jabi, Abuja, which recently cleared Adoke of involvement in the alleged fraud.

The Malabu scandal, which underpinned the charges against Adoke, revolved around the transfer of approximately $1.1 billion by Shell and ENI through the Nigerian government to accounts controlled by former Nigerian petroleum minister, Dan Etete.

A significant portion of the funds ($520 million) purportedly ended up in accounts linked to companies allegedly controlled by Aliyu Abubakar.

The dismissal of charges against Adoke underscores the complexity and scrutiny surrounding high-profile corruption cases in Nigeria, while also raising questions about the adequacy of evidence and legal procedures in such prosecutions.

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