Mohammed Bello Adoke, a former attorney general of the Federation and Minister of Justice, has returned to Nigeria, four years after he left the country on a self-imposed exile.
Adoke’s aircraft touched down at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja at about 3:40pm on Thursday.
He was, thereafter, arrested at the foot of the aircraft by security operatives and taken to the office of the International Criminal Police Organization(INTERPOL) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
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Mike Ozekhome, the ex-AGF’s lawyer, confirmed the return and subsequent arrest of his client in Abuja.
Ozekhome, however, claimed that Adoke was not being allowed access to anyone by security operatives.
“He was picked up at the foot of the aircraft by Interpol, refusing anyone access to him.
“He is believed to be on his way to the Interpol office at Area 10, Garki, Abuja,” Ozekhome told the Punch.
Adoke was initially arrested by Interpol on 11 November based on a warrant issued by a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in April. The warrant was issued after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (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.
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.
The ex-AGF, who is said to have purchased the Dubai-Abuja ticket on Monday, departed the Arab country on Thursday.
In a bid to recuse itself of any involvement in the proceedings, the Dubai Police had mandated Adoke to sign an undertaking stating that he was voluntarily returning back to Nigeria and not doing so under duress.
“I would go to NIGERIA authorities to solve my problem, and without any stress or pressure from Dubai Police or anyone,” read the undertaking signed by Adoke.
The ex-AGF, who had been on self-exile after he left office in 2015, has always his innocence in the case levelled against him by the EFCC.
Speaking after releasing his new book entitled: “Burden Of Service: Reminiscences of Nigeria’s former Attorney-General”, Adoke said he was prepared to return to the country after attending to his health.