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$550m: how former AG Adoke frustrated recovery of Abacha loot

former AG Mohammed Adoke

Nigerians were shocked last week to learn that Nigeria’s present attorney general and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami has requested the Federal Government to pay 30% fee from the $480 million Abacha lot recoverable form the United States of America to the attorney he appointed.

This amounts to $144 million of which Malami is collecting $100 million as bribe.

Our report also revealed that the Kebbi State governor, Atiku Bagudu is collecting $70 million from the fund with the approval of the AG Malami.

Bagudu and Malami are from the same village; Brinini Kebbi in Kebbi state.  it was Badugu that recommended Malami to President Muhammadu Buhari. 

PLEASE READ ALSO Exposed: How AGF Malami, Bagudu plot to rip $170m off Abacha loot

Elombah.com is in possession of further documents showing how the former Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke [pictured above] frustrated the recovery of the said funds during the regime of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Contrary to what is being reported, the actual amount is $550 million and not $480 million that has been circulated in the media.

The money is currently tied up in court due to a pending lawsuit issued by a Nigerian born attorney Godwin Nnaka who was initially hired by President Obasanjo to recover the money.

Mr Nnaka has been replaced by Buhari’s attorney general Malami because he refused to give 70% of his fees to AG Abubakar Malami.

According to our earlier reports, Malami transferred the case that was started over twelve years ago to a new attorney who was never part of the litigation because the new lawyer agreed to share his fees with him.

The lawyer that started the process, Godwin Nnaka and Associates therefore filed a suit in the US court to tie up the release of the money until their legal fees are paid and to expose AG Malami and Governor Badugu. 

Sources told Elombah.com that in 2004, former President Olusegun Obasanjo mandated the US based attorney Nnaka to “proceed in a professional manner and recover looted funds”, after the attorney alerted the government of Nigeria about the presence of the Abacha funds in the country. (Elombah.com is in possession of this letter)

Consistent with this mandate Nnaka took several steps to locate and recover stolen funds.

He engaged the services of William Ruggles, a Connecticut based Consultant familiar with the intricate world of international money movements. 

Nnaka also associated with Jonathan Schafran, a high profile New York based lawyer and former high ranking U.S intelligence officer experienced in international affairs and forensic financial investigations and maintained an advisory relationship with a notable U.S trial Attorney Gerry Spence and his associate Ed Moriarity in Wyoming. 

He also Co-opted the services of Denis Corgil, a former Professor of Law at Widener University School of Law in Harrisburg, PA and partnered with Michelle Gouldin, a Paris based Lawyer for support on the European wing.  

Nnaka traveled to various parts of the world, England, France, Turkey, Austria, Switzerland, Angola, etc pursuing leads, reviewing information and engaging agents towards realizing the Federal Government instructions. He also traveled numerous times to and from Nigeria and opened a local coordinating office in Nigeria. 

He facilitated the travel of numerous agents and officials to Nigeria and other places in respect of this matter and met with Mariam Abacha, widow of late General Abacha, Mohammed and Zainab Abacha (Children of late General Abacha) and Alhaji Haruna (former Attorney General of Kogi State, Lawyer and confidant of the Abacha family) 

Nnaka also met with Abubarkar Atiku Bagudu (late General Abachas business Associate and the alleged mastermind of the criminal money laundering scheme at issue in this case).

“Some of the meetings took place in Nigeria, England and France”, Elombah.com was told.

“The purpose of the meetings with the Abacha family and agents was to elicit their cooperation and validate information and data gathered by the Firm with the looted funds”. 

Furthermore, the Abachas were also keenly exploring cooperation with the Government of Nigeria to voluntarily disclose or confirm the where about of the funds and expedite the return in exchange for possible immunity from criminal prosecution. 

Mr Nnaka the retained the services of Attorney Jude Ezeala, Charles Lion Agwumezie, Kenneth Nnaka and the Firm of Nnoli & Okoye & Associates to fight against the forfeiture in U.S Court and ensure return of the USD550million directly to the Nigerian people. 

Elombah.com learnt that after all “these works, surviving numerous obstacles, brick walls, including assassination attempts”, Nnaka’s office became aware of clandestine moves by some officials of the former Administration to compromise all or part of the discovered Abacha loot” after the filing of a Suit (under seal) in November, 2013 by the United States Government seeking the Court to certify the forfeiture of USD550miliion of discovered Abacha loot to the United States of America. 

In the Suit filed by United States which was unsealed on March is, 2014, Nigeria was neither named as a “Party” nor did anyone enter appearance to protect the interest of Nigeria except my Firm.

Under U.S law, if no one intervened or appeared on behalf of Nigeria, thirty- five days from March 2014, the Court will award the money to the United States. 

But given the knowledge of the case, the above time constraint and operating within the confines of “instructions” given to recover the money by Nigeria, Mr Nnaka and his Associates assembled a team of Lawyers who quickly prepared and filed with the U.S Court an “Intervention” and “Claim” seeking to preserve the right of Nigeria and the return and repatriation of the looted funds to Nigeria.

In addition, a “Claim” was also filed to protect his right of fee contest against forfeiture in favor of the United States. The “intervention”, and “Claim” Nnaka’s office filed on behalf of Nigeria.

After filling the “Claims”, Mr NNnaka returned to Nigeria and provided all the documents to the former “Honorable” Attorney General of the Federation (Mohammed Adoke) and requested an audience to brief him and discuss the way forward.  (Elombah.com is in possession of all the court documents)

But to his greatest surprise, the former Attorney General collected the documents and became extremely angry and agitated.

“The former Attorney General kept giving and canceling their appointment to meet and brief him for nearly one month until the time to perfect Nigeria’s Claim in the Court in U.S expired”, Elombah.com was told.

Thereafter, he alleged that Mr Nnaka’s “letter of instruction” was “fake” and referred the “Claim” filed on behalf of Nigeria in the U.S Court to EFCC to intimidate and harass him to abandon the cause. 

Realizing that the Former Attorney Generals action was designed in bad faith and not in Nigeria’s National interest, Mr Nanaka had to take the unusual step to look for Former Attorney General of the Federation Chief Akinlolu Olujimi, who signed the initial Mandate letter to again, authenticate, a “letter of instruction” that exists in the Attorney General’s office and which was otherwise confirmed by their previous actions in this matter.

The authenticating letter was submitted to the Attorney General of the Federation on May 12, 2014. (Elombah.com is in possession of this letter)

Against the directive of the former President Jonathan and even after receiving the authenticating letter from former Attorney General Olujimi, the former Attorney General Mohammed Adoke, wrote a secret letter to the United States Court stating that neither Mr Nnaka nor any of the lawyers who entered appearance in Court to protect the interest of Nigeria had the “authority” to do so. (Elombah.com is in possession of this letter)

On the basis of the letter, the Court dismissed Nigeria’s Claim and awarded the USD550million to the United States. 

Believing that this behavior supports the proposition that the former Attorney General Adoke may have a plan similar to the leaked “Malibu Oil deal”, Nnaka and Associates filed an appeal to prevent the release and diversion of whatever portion the United States may voluntarily return to Nigeria, “hoping that by the time the appeal will be over, God in his infinite mercy would have caused a change in Government through your election”.

“With Buhari’s election as President, God has answered our prayer and we have terminated the appeal in U.S Court”, the law office wrote in a letter to Buhari dated 17th August 2015 (Elombah.com is in possession of this letter).

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