A former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), has said the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, may be the puppet of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
Adoke, in his book titled Burden of Service: Reminiscences of Nigeria’s Former Attorney-General, stated that he might have drawn the anger of Osinbajo after alleging that the Vice-President benefited from a $16m legal fee that saw the Federal Government recover $65m from indicted companies many years ago.
He said although he had not confirmed Osinbajo’s feelings on the matter, the EFCC chairman was probably being used by the Vice-President “to get his pound of flesh.”
The former minister cited a 2016 interview with THISDAY, where he had said, following a Halliburton case, the Federal Government under former President Goodluck Jonathan retained the services of Nigerian lawyers to prosecute foreign companies that allegedly bribed Nigerian officials in respect of a Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas project.
Adoke explained that he had made the case to adopt the template that was ultimately used in the Pfizer case to get the indicted companies to pay the fees of the lawyers in addition to the money recovered from them.
He stated, “In the Pfizer case, the amount recovered was $65m, but Pfizer, in addition, paid the lawyers the sum of $16m as fees.
“In that interview, I mentioned the names of the lawyers who got paid by Pfizer to include Chief J.B. Daudu, Prof. Osinbajo and a host of other Nigerian lawyers, including Mrs Mariam Uwais, now a Special Assistant to the President on Social Investment Programme in the Office of the Vice-President.”
According to him, their fees were paid to them by Pfizer through an associate of Osinbajo, Mr Tunde Irukera, who is now the Director General of the Consumer Protection Council.
Adoke added, “I was told that Osinbajo was very bitter that I mentioned his name. He didn’t fancy being portrayed as having benefited from certain transactions as he sought to maintain a clean public image. It appeared I had inadvertently blown open that holy lid.”