Nigeria

OPL 245: Police indict HEDA chairman for forgery

Inspector-General of Police (IGP) monitoring team has indicted the chairman of the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), Olanrewaju Suraju, for falsehood and cyberstalking in the probe of an allegation that an e-mail and phone conversation attributed to former attorney-general of the federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke, was forged.

Inspector-General of Police (IGP) monitoring team has indicted the chairman of the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), Olanrewaju Suraju, for falsehood and cyberstalking in the probe of an allegation that an e-mail and phone conversation attributed to former attorney-general of the federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke, was forged.

Suraju had accused Adoke of communicating with JP Morgan, the US investment bank, in June 2011 over the OPL 245 transaction between Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd, Shell and Eni.

He was accused of communicating via the address of a company owned by Aliyu Abubakar, who was also on trial in Italy.

The e-mail was intended to support the claim that there was corruption, alleging that Adoke and Abubakar “worked together” on the deal.

Adoke had discredited the e-mail, saying he was no longer the AGF as of the date it was sent and had no reason to use another person’s e-mail address.

The former AGF also debunked claims he had a phone conversation with an Italian journalist in 2017 where he was said to have acknowledged that the OPL 245 deal was a scam.

Adoke said the phone conversation was stage-managed, adding that he was on self-exile at the time and had stopped using a Nigerian line since June 2015.

The former minister, through his lawyers, had petitioned the IGP requesting for an investigation of the allegations levelled against him.

In a letter addressed to Adoke and dated September 2, 2021, Ibrahim Musa, head of the IGP monitoring team, said an investigation had been conducted on the claims.

The police said Suraju did not verify the phone tape and email before sharing it on social media.

The team accused the HEDA chairman of falsehood, saying his act is “a calculated attempt to resort to media trial and to falsify relationship” between Adoke and Abubakar.

“A thorough investigation was carried out and in the course of the investigation, it was evident that Mr Olarenwaju Suraju of Human and Environmental Development Agenda – an unregistered organisation, without verifying the authenticity of the purported telephone interview and email proceeded to use the social media handle of @ HedaAgenda on Twitter and @HedaResourceCentre on Facebook to disseminate same,” the letter reads.

“And when invited by the Police to substantiate his claims, he feigned sickness, jumped bail and resorted to issuing press statements maligning the Police, writing frivolous counter petitions and filing civil suits in Court against the IGP Monitoring Unit, Force Headquarters, Abuja and the Police, aimed to undermine the investigation and to evade the course of justice;

“That, the claims made by Suraju that his foreign partners, national and international media agencies are the authors of the information he shared is misleading as he was the one issuing the press statements that were published by these media agencies,” he said.

Get more stories like this on Twitter and Telegram

Recommended Stories