Mr. Mohammed Adoke must think Nigerians are so unintelligent to accept that he did not betray his office and his knowledge of the law in the circumstances surrounding the the award of $3.6 billion damages against the federal government. Mr. Adoke says that he was a nominal defendant in the case and that he was not properly briefed by the Federal Ministry of Finance. Does an Attorney-General who knows his onions need to be briefed to challenge a case that was filed to dupe the federal government? By the way, was it not Mr. Adoke that appointed one of the lawyers in the ministry of Justice as a legal adviser of the ministry of finance?

For the benefit of members of the public who are not aware of our petition on the subject matter, we wish to state that Mr. Joe Agi SAN filed a suit on behalf of the 774 local governments in Nigeria to challenge the servicing of debts by the federal government under the military regime.

The case was filed under under the 1999 Constitution to challenge the payment of debts which took place when the country was ruled by decrees. Mr. Adoke SAN did not raise any objection to this suit. Even as a norminal party in the suit, as he so claimed.

Under the Public Officers Protection Act, the government cannot be sued after 3 months of the occurrence of an event. The case involved challenged the decision of the military regime which occurred 21 years earlier. Again, Mr. Adoke did not raise any objection that the suit was statute barred.

In a letter to the Accountant General of the Federation, the Debt Management Office warmed against the payment of the judgment debt on the ground that the federal military government was not indebted to the local government as it ran the country as a unitary state at the time referenced in the suit.

Assuming Mr. Adoke did not understand his law to challenge the suit at the federal high court, why did he deliberatley failed to file an appeal against the dubious judgment?

Rather, Mr. Adoke rushed to officially give his fiat and legal advice that the money be paid to the plaintiffs? That was how $1.6 billion was paid to the account of Joe Agi SAN.

Is Mr. Adoke not aware that not a dime was paid to any of the country’s 774 local governments? Is Mr. Adoke not aware that the money was shared and distributed to persons who were not parties to the suit?

The then Minister of Finance, Dr. Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has not denied the payment of the fraudulent judgment debt of $1.6 billion which has since been diverted. One wonders where is the mischief that Mr. Adoke is talking about?

We therefore advise the Efcc to ignore Mr. Adoke’s irresponsible and lame defence, and commence investigation into the fraudulent judgment of Justice Adeniyi Ademola and the criminal diversion of the part payment of $1.6 billion. Let the money be fully recovered and return to the federation account from where it was judicially stolen.

Olanrewaju Suraju
Chairman, CSNAC