The Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights (CASER), a rights protection organisation, has asked Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), to withdraw the charges against Mohammed Adoke, a former AGF, in the Malabu oil deal saga.
The group made this demand in a letter dated April 16, issued by Frank Tietie, its executive director.
Adoke was accused by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of giving wrong legal counsel to the federal government over the OPL 245 dispute with Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd.
The sale of the OPL 245, which is considered as one of the most lucrative on the continent, has been replete with allegations and lawsuits.
Adoke has consistently maintained that he acted on the instruction of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
In May 2017, Adoke asked the court to declare his prosecution by the EFCC illegal. He had asked the court to declare that he acted in the deal on the orders of Jonathan.
But Malami asked the court to dismiss the suit, arguing that Adoke must face trial.
However, a federal high court sitting in Abuja, on Friday, ruled that Adoke acted on the orders of Jonathan on all the settlement agreements regarding the deal.
The court held that Adoke “cannot be held personally liable for carrying out the lawful directives of the president.”
The group, in its letter, said sequel to the court’s ruling, failure of the AGF to withdraw the charges against Adoke would amount to “political persecution” and a violation of his fundamental human rights.
It called on Malami to use the powers of his office to immediately withdraw the charges against the ex-AGF.
“The recent judgment of the Federal High Court which completely cleared him of culpability in the Malubu settlement,” the letter read.
“As a citizens’ rights protection organization, we at CASER, strongly object to the continued trial of the former Attorney General of the Federation for what appears to be mere partisan, political vindictiveness and urge you therefore, to exercise your constitutional powers under Section 174 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as altered) and cause to immediately withdraw the charges against Mr Adoke, SAN on the grounds that they are manifestly without basis.
“In the above regard, we wish to bring to your attention the position of the Supreme Court on the need to avoid persecuting citizens with the use of vexatious trials. Mr. Adoke, SAN is not just a citizen of Nigeria but he has shown that he is one of integrity in character as a public servant and distinction in industry as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
“Having held the exalted office of the Attorney General of the Federation, he must not be subjected to whimsical harassment and attempts to malign his hard earned reputation where there is no iota of evidence linking him to wrong doing as a former public servant.”