The Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke, has debunked media report over an alleged shady deal that may rob Nigeria of N549billion”.
According to a statement issued by his office on Wednesday, Adoke said that the allegation that he has not been interested in vigorously defending the suit filed by Addax Petroleum Development (Nigeria) Limited and Addax Petroleum Exploration (Nigeria) Limited against the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Ministry of Petroleum Resources (MPR), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) and the Attorney General of the Federation(AGF) relating to the fiscal incentives granted by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2001 to the Plaintiff Companies is unfounded and wicked.
”It is pertinent to state that these assertions are not true and that no genuine effort was made to ascertain the veracity of these claims before they were published. This notwithstanding, it must be appreciated that the Attorney General of the Federation is only a nominal Party to the aforementioned suit. The principal agencies of Government concerned with the issues in dispute are the Ministry of Petroleum Resources (MPR), the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
Consequently, when the Originating Summons was served on the Attorney General of the Federation, appropriate steps were taken to request the aforementioned agencies to furnish information and documents necessary to prepare and file a Counter-Affidavit to defend the suit.
“While the responses and inputs of relevant agencies were being awaited, a Memorandum of Conditional Appearance was filed. The letters from the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation dated 11th February 2015 to relevant agencies, in this respect, is instructive.
“It is regrettable that only the DPR and FIRS have responded to the request for information and even at that, the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation is yet to be furnished with relevant supporting documents that could be relied upon to prepare a defence to the action. Any lawyer knowledgeable in the rudiments of legal practice would readily agree that a Counter- Affidavit cannot be prepared and filed by the Attorney General of the Federation without the necessary information and documents.
“While the Attorney General of the Federation is not averse to amicable resolution of disputes where sufficient justification exits, it is not his modus operandi to act unilaterally, especially where the Office is a nominal Party and/or coerce agencies of government to enter into settlements that are likely to compromise national interest or the interest of justice,” the statement said.
The Attorney General of the Federation however, assure Nigerians that the Addax suit will not be treated differently, no matter the issues involved and the interests at play. Nigerians should therefore discountenance the publications made with the sole aim of denigrating the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and attracting public odium to the occupant of the Office.