The Federal High Court, Abuja has summoned key witnesses in the case between the former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, and the Chairman, Human & Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre), Olanrewaju Suraju, over the oil prospecting license (OPL) 245 scandal.
Those summoned to give evidence as requested by the defendant, Suraju, include the anti-graft agency, the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Head of the Monitoring Unit in the Office of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the plaintiff, Adoke.
Others include former Executive Director, J. P. Morgan, Simon Loyd EMEA AML and Sanctions Compliance, London, who is currently the Senior Vice President/Head of FCC Central Oversight, PMO & Regulatory Deliverables at Danske Bank; the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Public Prosecutor’s Office at the Court in Milan, Italy, and Global Head of Financial Institutions Trade Product Sales Specialist at J.P Morgan, London, Osolake Bayo.
In Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CR/370/2021, the government accused Suraju of cyberstalking and circulating the audio of a telephone interview purportedly planted to implicate Adoke in the alleged OPL 245 saga.
At the resumed sitting of the court on May 10, 2022, the government would be expected to present its case and evidence against Suraju, following the withdrawal of two of the four charges.
Consequently, the Court in its summons ordered the affected individuals and institutions to appear before it with documents or other tangible evidence to prove their case.
The Public Prosecutor’s office at the court or Milan Italy, would bring the official copy of the European investigation Order sent to the UK Authorities in respect of the Malabu Oil Matter, along with the UK Authorities response to the European Investigation Order.
Also, the EFCC is expected to appear with the official copy of the Investigation Report of Alleged Forgery and Impersonation resulting in Cyber Criminality, Financial Crime and Economic Sabotage against Nigeria as it relates to the email sent by one Mohammed Bello Adoke on June 21, 2011 to JP Morgan Chase bank using the email address: [email protected].
For Osolake Bayo, the court asked to appear along with a copy of the e-mail dated June 21, 2011 from his email address
While Simon Loyd was asked to produce the official copy of the email dated June 24, 2011 he sent to Lyall, Ian; White, Daniel UK, and Speers Camel with the title: “FGN SUMMARY OF FACTS” as well as other documents allegedly shared with respect to the subject.
The federal government had submitted before the London court in its civil case against JP Morgan that it was withdrawing the forgery trial of the anti-corruption activist, claiming the action was erroneously filed by both the Police and some officials of the Ministry of Justice, ignorant of its implications for the London lawsuit against J.P Morgan Chase Bank in a UK court.
Nigeria was seeking the award against the bank for allegedly failing in its duty to do due diligence when before transferring $810 million to Malabu Oil & Gas Limited from the sale of OPL 245 to Shell and Eni in 2011.
In the same submission, the FRN reaffirmed Mohammed Adoke as the author of the email alleged to forged, adding that he was also the interviewee in the audio tape allegedly referred to as fake in the charges against Suraju
The government argued that the bank ought to have known that it was “a corrupt and fraudulent scheme” and should have withheld the payment.
JP Morgan denied the liability claims, maintaining that the government has not yet proved allegations of corruption in any court of law over 10 years when the payments were made.
The government specifically accused Adoke of corruption,, adding that as the former Attorney-General of the Federation when the OPL 245 resolutions were reached in 2011 and subsequently filed charges in three different courts against him and other co defendants.
However, the charges around forgery of email against Suraju were dropped after Nigeria’s lawyers pointed out to the Attorney-General that it could jeopardise the case against J.P Morgan since the government was relying on the same email.
Suraju was eventually arraigned over the charges around the alleged stage-managed interview, although the lawyers have now informed the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales Commercial Court that the case against the activist will be halted.