A federal judge, Binta Nyako, Friday declined to declare as illegal the trial of former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke. Adoke is being tried over his involvement in the $1.1 billion Malabu oil scandal. He sought reprieve from the court by counter suing the current Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami. Adoke said his trial by the court, as instigated by Malami, was illegal. He claimed as then minister, he was merely obeying a presidential directive and couldn’t be liable for the offence he is being accused of.
Adoke requested the court to determine whether by virtue of sections 5(1), 147(1), 148(1) and 150(1) of the 1999 Constitution a serving minister can perform the “executive power of federation vested on the president as directed by the president.”
Even though Justice Nyako declined to declare Adoke’s trial illegal, she agreed with his submissions that he only executed a constitutional directives a serving minister.
The judge said: “The executive powers of the president are exercisable by his ministers. The plaintiff cannot be held personally liable for carrying out the lawful directives of the president.”