Nigeria ex-minister granted bail in oil scandal case

2020-01-30 14:10

Nigeria's former attorney general Mohammed Adoke was arrested last month and charged over a $1.3 billion dollar oil scandal involving international majors Shell and Eni. (Kola Sulamion/AFP).

Nigeria's former attorney general Mohammed Adoke was arrested last month and charged over a $1.3 billion dollar oil scandal involving international majors Shell and Eni. (Kola Sulamion/AFP).

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A former Nigerian justice minister accused of complicity in a billion-dollar oil scandal involving Shell and Eni was on Thursday granted bail by a high court in the nation's capital.

Judge Abubakar Kutigi ordered the release of Mohammed Adoke from custody to face his trial along with other suspects.

The judge asked him to provide surety of 50m naira ($139 000) before he could leave custody.

The court then adjourned the case to March 26.

Adoke, who also served as attorney-general between 2010 and 2015, was arrested last month on arrival from the United Arab Emirates where he had been detained on a Nigerian warrant over one of the West African state's biggest-ever corruption scandals.

READ | Nigeria remands ex-minister in custody over oil scandal

He was accused of money laundering and collecting a bribe worth 300 million naira to broker the $1.3-bn sale of lucrative offshore oil block OPL245 to Shell and Eni in 2011.

Adoke has pleaded not guilty to the charges along with two co-accused.

On the run

Both Shell and Eni have denied any wrongdoing in the case, dubbed the "Malabu scandal" after the key company involved in the deals.

Accusations against the international oil majors have led to a string of cases in a number of countries that have seen convictions in Italy and a probe against Shell in the Netherlands.

ALSO READ | Ex-Nigeria minister held in Dubai over oil graft scandal: lawyer

Former Nigerian oil minister Dan Etete is still on the run over the scandal.

It was during his time in office in 1998 that Malabu was illegally awarded control of the block.

The Abuja court on Thursday issued a warrant for Etete's arrest.

Read more on:    nigeria  |  west africa  |  shell nigeria
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