Mohammed Bello Adoke, the immediate past Attorney General of the Federation, will remain in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) going into the New Year after his bail application was unsuccessful.
The application was unsuccessful following Tuesday’s ruling of Justice Othman Musa of the Federal Territory Capital (FCT) High Court to return the case file to the chief judge of the court.
Benson Igbanoi, counsel who represented Adoke, informed the court upon the calling of the case that he could not move the motion for bail application as the prosecution just served him with its preliminary objection.
“This morning, we were served with a counter affidavit to our motion filed on December 23,” he said.
“By reason of the facts raised in the counter affidavit which call for further affidavits and also a need for reply on point of law, we are therefore constrained to ask for a short adjournment to enable us to respond accordingly.”
Read Also: OPL 245: EFCC Takes Custody Of Adoke
In its response, the prosecution led by Bala Sanga told the court that the bail application could not be heard as the EFCC had obtained an order granting the agency 14 days to detain the ex-AGF while it conducted further investigations.
Sanga told the court that the order was granted on December 20, 2019, and would expire on January 2, 2020.
Musa, who is a vacation judge, said he would not be available to hear the application when the order expires.
He then said he would return the case file to the chief judge for further action.
Adoke, who had been on a self-imposed exile since 2015, returned to Nigeria aboard an Emirates Airlines Flight 785 on December 19 at about 3:40pm.
The ex-AGF is facing charges bordering on alleged abuse of office and money laundering with respect to the granting of the OPL 245 to Shell and ENI filed against him and four others by the EFCC on behalf of the Nigerian Government.
Adoke was initially arrested by Interpol on 11 November in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, based on a warrant issued by a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in April. The warrant was issued after the EFCC filed an application seeking the extradition of the former AGF over the controversial OPL 245 Malabu deal executed by the Federal Government in 2011.
But the order was vacated by the same court in October. However, the EFCC has refused to transmit the vacating order to the international police organisation.
Read Also: Court Asks EFCC To Detain Adoke For 14 Days
Following the inability to resolve all arising legal matters after a five-week standoff between Adoke and the EFCC, the ex-AGF has decided to return back to the country.
He was whisked away upon his arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, by security operatives to the Abuja office of the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) and later handed over to the EFCC.