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Court orders arrest of Etete, Adoke, others over $2.1b Malabu scam


Another varies bail condition for Usoro, orders release of his passport
• ICPC vows to appeal ruling on Gwarzo’s case
• Absence of defendant stalls arraignment of NBC boss, others

Justice Danlami Senchi of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Jabi has granted the prayers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for a warrant of arrest against former Minister of Petroleum, Dan Etete; former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke; and others implicated in the $2.1 billion Malabu oil scandal.

Acting spokesperson of EFCC, Tony Orilade, declared yesterday in Abuja that Raph Wetzels, Casula Roberto, Pujato Stefeno and Burrato Sebastiano were also wanted.

They were to be arraigned before Justice Senchi yesterday to face charges related to the Malabu oil scandal, but they failed to show up.

EFCC had since 2017 pressed charges against Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company (SNEPCo), Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, Eni Spa, Wetzels, Roberto, Stefeno, Sebastiano, Duazia Louya Etete (a.k.a. Dan Etete), Adoke, Aliyu Abubakar and Malabu Oil and Gas Limited.

EFCC had, through its counsel, Aliyu Yusuf, prayed the court for a warrant of their arrest.

Yesterday, Senchi granted EFCC’s prayers and ordered their arrest anywhere.

The matter was adjourned till July 11, 2019 for further hearing.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) has vowed to appeal the ruling on the ‘no case submission’ in the trial of suspended Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mounir Gwarzo, and Executive Commissioner, Corporate Services, Zakawanu Garuba.

ICPC spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa, stated this yesterday in Abuja.

A federal high court in Lagos, yesterday, varied the bail condition granted the president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Paul Usoro (SAN), and ordered the release of his international passport.

Justice Rilwan Aikawa also directed the defendant to inform the EFCC each time he wants to travel out of the country.

The decision followed an application by the lead counsel for the defendant, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) to that effect.

The case was adjourned till May 10.

In another development, the arraignment of the DG, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Dr. Ishaq Kawu, was stalled yesterday following the absence of the Chief Operating Officer, Pinnacle Communications Limited, Mr. Dipo Onifade.

Kawu, alongside the chairman of Pinnacle, Mr. Lucky Omoluwa, and Onifade were to be arraigned yesterday before Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo-Giwa of a Federal High Court, Abuja, following their alleged complicity in the misapplication of N2.5 billion seed grant for Digital Switch-Over (DSO) programme of the federal government.

Justice Ogunbanjo-Giwa adjourned the matter till May 2 for the arraignment.

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