Former Nigerian Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke has been reportedly held in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, by Interpol following confusion over a warrant of arrest that has already been vacated.
A federal capital territory (FCT) high court in Abuja had issued a warrant of arrest against Adoke and four others on April 17, 2019 following a request by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the controversial OPL 245 deal executed by the federal government in 2011.
However, following an application by Adoke’s lawyers, the court, presided over by D. Z. Senchi, vacated the warrant on October 25, 2019, declaring it “null and void and of no effect whatsoever”. While the first order was sent to Interpol by the Nigerian police, the vacating order was not transmitted, thereby creating confusion for the multinational force.
The EFCC, reacting to the vacated order, had said it would advertise the originating summons in the newspapers after which it would declare the defendants wanted if they fail to appear for trial. Adoke himself said he was preparing to return to the country after releasing his book and attending to his health.
The senior lawyer, who was said to have arrived Dubai on Monday, November 11, for a scheduled medical check-up, was quizzed by the Interpol and then taken into custody following the mix-up.
Adoke has been on self-exile since 2015, accusing the EFCC of trying to humiliate him and maintaining that he did no wrong in the OPL 245 affair.
He recently published his memoir, “Burden Of Service: Reminiscences of Nigeria’s former Attorney-General”, detailing his role in the OPL 245/Malabu Oil deal as well as other events that happened in the Goodluck Jonathan administration, which he served as AGF from 2010 to 2015.