The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), on Tuesday, re-arraigned a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), in a Federal High Court, Abuja.
Adoke was re-arraigned alongside a businessman, Aliyu Abubakar, on amended 14-count charge bordering on money laundering.
The anti-graft agency is prosecuting Adoke in connection with the controversial OPL 245 transaction, also known as the Malabu Oil deal.
The prosecuting counsel, Mr Bala Sanga, said that the re-arraignment became necessary following an increase of charges from seven to 14.
Sanga also said that the amount involved in the new charge had increased from the previous N400 million.
In the previous charges, six of the seven counts related to Adoke while only one related to Abubakar.
But with the amended charges, each of the defendants is to answer to seven charges.
The trial judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, adjourned the case until Aug. 11 for commencement of trial.
One of the charges read: “That you Mohammed Adoke, sometime in Aug. 2013 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this court, accepted a cash payment of a sum of United States Dollars, equivalent to N300,000,000.00 (Three hundred million Naira), from Aliyu Abubakar and you thereby committed an offence contrary to the combined effect of Section 16 (1) (d) and of Section 1(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act.
“That you Mohammed Adoke, sometime in Sept. 2013 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this court, made a cash payment of the sum of $2,267,400.00 (Two million, two hundred and sixty seven thousand, four hundred United States Dollars) to one Rislanudeen Muhammed and you thereby committed an offence contrary to the combined effect of Section 16 (1) (d) and of Section 1(a) of the Money Prohibition Act.”
Adoke and Abubakar were first arraigned before Justice Binta Nyako in February 2020 and then Justice Ekwo on June 17, 2020 on a seven-count criminal charge.
Although Justice Ekwo had, in June while admitting the defendants to bail, fixed Aug. 3 for the trial, however, the trial could not begin on that day following the amendment of the former charge.