Nigeria’s former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, has said that he is not afraid to stand trial in the country.

Adoke, who is expected to touch down at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on Thursday afternoon (today) from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, said that he was innocent of all allegations of receiving kickbacks in the controversial $1.1bn Malabu Oil deal under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Following a warrant for his arrest, Adoke was held in Dubai on November 11, 2019 by Interpol and kept in custody for five weeks.

He was made to sign an undertaking for decision to return back to Nigeria to face trial in the charges preferred against him by the Nigerian Government.

Speaking through his lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), on Thursday, the former AGF said that he did not act contrary to the dictates of his office while occupying that position.

In a statement on behalf of his client, Ozekhome said, “Nigeria did not have any legal basis or grounds to extradite Adoke back to Nigeria.

“Adoke, based on our legal advice, has therefore decided to break this unnecessary logjam and simulated stalemate that are already causing Nigeria international embarrassment by buying his own ticket to return to Nigeria voluntarily and peaceably, instead of going to another country of his choice.

“While our client is thankful to the Almighty God for seeing him through this unwarranted humiliation despite its debilitating impact on his health, he hereby reiterates, for the umpteenth time, that he is not and has never been afraid to face trail in Nigeria over any perceived role he played in the OPL 245 transaction. He believes he did no wrong.

“The extent of his involvement as chief law officer of the Federation at all times, he insists, involved merely giving out well founded legal advice to the then government of the day regarding the transaction.

“He has repeatedly said that he did not collect one kobo or any sum howsoever, from the oil and gas transaction.

“Indeed, it must be pointed out that two witnesses who have testified at the ongoing trial of the oil companies in Milan, Italy, have both exonerated Mr Adoke.

“He will also voluntarily report to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission upon his arrival in Nigeria, accompanied by some counsel from my chambers.

“Our client remains very confident that he will be vindicated in the court of law and justice at the end of the day, after a free and fair trial, devoid of the usual media trial and conviction in the public space.”   

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