About 10 policemen from the Force Headquarters yesterday invaded the house of a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), ostensibly on a tip-off from a whistle-blower.
However,the one-hour search was in vain as no money or incriminating documents were found.
The ex-minister ,reacting to the development, said it was the fourth time he would be subjected to search.
Adoke alleged that the searches were in “furtherance of an orchestrated plan to harass, intimidate and generally prevent me from pursuing my suit against the Federal Government.
The policemen, according to eyewitnesses, stormed Adoke’s country home in the Government Reserved Area (GRA), Okene, at about 4.15pm allegedly looking for cash.
The search, which was conducted under tight security, ended at about 5.15pm.
It was learnt that the policemen included eight from the Force Headquarters in Abuja, one from the Area Command in Okene and another belongs to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Federal).
Apart from pistols and rifles, the policemen also mobilized diggers and axes for use to gain entrance into the residence.
The ex-minister’s relations, led by Mr. Abdul Adoke(a junior brother), cooperated with the team.
Abdul said: “The policemen presented a search warrant obtained from the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Gudu in Abuja. Their leader identified himself as a police officer from the Force Headquarters, Abuja, but he refused to disclose his identity.
“They said they came to screen the duplex based on some clues. They came with pistols and rifles, but there was no resistance from our family. We obliged the policemen their request.
“I quickly mobilized all the security men in the area to witness the search. They ransacked the house from the Boys’ Quarters to the Guest Room and the ex-minister’s master bedroom and the wife’s bedroom.
“They also climbed the surface tank and the roof at the pent house. They also frisked all the upholstery chairs in the house and the dining set.
“After about one-hour search, they said nothing was found in the house. They wrote a report which I and three others countersigned, indicating that there was no cash or document retrieved from the residence.”
Yesterday’s incident was the third time Adoke went through such a search.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had raided the ex-minister’s residence in Kano on April 12, 2017.
Also, on May 6, 2017, the Nigeria Police team invaded the three-bedroom bungalow of Alhaji Bashir Adoke, the junior brother of the former minister.
The EFCC had filed charges against the ex-AGF, a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Chief Dan Etete, a businessman, Aliyu Abubakar and eight others over the auctioning of Malabu Oil Block.
The others are Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company Limited; Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited; ENI SPA; Malabu Oil and Gas Limited; Ralph Wetzels (ex- Director of SNEPCO); Casula Roberto (Italian) whilst being the Director of AGIP; Pujatti Stefeno (Italian) while being the Director in AGIP; and Burafato Sebastiano (Italian).
Also sued was his successor, AGF Abubakar Malami (SAN), over the Settlement Agreement of the controversial $1.09billion Malabu Oil Block (OPL 245).
He asked the court to declare that he acted on the agreement based on the directives of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
He urged the court to declare his ongoing prosecution by the EFCC on account of carrying out the lawful directives of the former President as illegal, null and void.
He said he could not be held personally liable for carrying out the lawful directives of the former President.
In a statement, which he personally signed, Adoke faulted the latest search and described it as an attempt to intimidate him.
He said: “I have just been informed that my country home in Okene, Kogi State, built some 12 years ago was today 14th July, 2017 thoroughly searched by men of the Nigeria Police Force. Armed with a Search Warrant from the High Court of the FCT sitting at Gudu District, Abuja, the 12 policemen searched the whole building, including the overhead and underground water tank, septic tanks, the penthouse and Boys Quarters apparently looking for foreign currency (dollars and pound sterling) and other unspecified documents.
“However, unlike previous searches, which were conducted in the crudest manner with the aim of needlessly destroying property, these policemen conducted themselves professionally and were civil in their approach, thereby giving credence to the new image of the force as a reformed institution.
“At the end of the almost two-hour search, no incriminating thing was found in the house and a report to that effect was duly prepared and witnessed by those who were present, including my junior brother, Abdullahi Adoke.
“This will be the 4th time my home will be subjected to search at the instance of Nigeria’s law enforcement personnel. It will be recalled that my student home in The Hague, Netherlands was searched at the instance of the EFCC.
“This was followed by the search of my country home in Kano and the search of my junior brother’s house also in Okene and today’s search of my own home in Okene. While all these searches have been futile in the sense that nothing incriminating was found, the law enforcement personnel still persist in this fruitless exercise.
“I am, therefore, convinced that the searches are in furtherance of an orchestrated plan to harass, intimidate and generally prevent me from pursuing my suit against the federal government.
“ I served Nigeria diligently as Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice for five years and two months and I am proud of the modest achievements I recorded in the Justice and other sectors that my inputs impacted.
“I am, therefore, utterly surprised that at the end of my service, agencies of the state, especially the EFCC, have chosen to align with those with personal grudges and scores to settle with me for refusing to allow my office to be used in their fight to gain ownership and control of OPL 245 granted to Malabu Oil and Gas Limited.
“I am, however, certain that at the appropriate time, all those behind my travails will be exposed and shamed.
“By the grace of God, Nigerians will be made aware of the ignoble roles some of their so-called leaders are playing in furtherance of their personal interests in the guise of fighting corruption.”