Judiciary & Court
Adoke: Police forward forgery case against Suraju to AGF
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Alkali Usman, has forwarded the duplicate case file on the investigation of the chairman, Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) Resource Centre, Olanrewaju Suraju, to the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami for prosecution.
Suraju was investigated by the IG Monitoring Unit following a petition by former AGF, Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) on the circulation of an alleged forged email and voice recording purportedly linking him in the OPL 245 trial in Italy.
The activist had used HEDA’s social media platforms to send an email purportedly of Adoke and JP Morgan, the US investment bank, in June 2011 over OPL 245 transaction between Malabu Oil & Gas Limited, Shell and Eni.
The former minister was alleged to have communicated with the investment bank through the address of a company owned by one Aliyu Abubakar, who was also on trial in Italy.
The e-mail was intended to support the claim that there was corruption, alleging that, Adoke and Abubakar “worked together” on the deal.
Adoke was also accused of having phone conversation with an Italian journalist in 2017 where he was alleged to have acknowledged that the OPL 245 deal was a scam.
But in a petition through his lawyers to the IG in February, Adoke called for a thorough investigation to unravel the truth.
An earlier Certified True Copy (CTC) of the investigation report addressed to Adoke, accused Suraju of cyberstalking, injurious falsehood, criminal defamation, among other allegations which the HEDA boss dismissed as fake, insisting that the police were still conducting investigation. He also described the report as a calculated attempt to divert public attention.
But a letter to the AGF dated September 20 and signed by the Officer-in-Charge of IG Monitoring Unit, ACP Ibrahim Musa, maintained that there was a prima facie case against Suraju and gave details of the investigation procedure.
The letter which was seen by our correspondent, revealed that from court documents obtained, the said email emanated from one Ismail Aliyu, who described himself as a representative of the Federal Ministry of Finance and was addressed to Bayo Osolake, an employee of the defendant (Abubakar) giving instruction for the transfer of funds.
“This is completely contradictory to what Suraju Olarenwaju has been claiming in some of his press statements that the content of the purported email stated “Dear Sir, kindly find attached document for your information and action, if necessary. Mohammed Bello Adoke.
“That so called attachment in the purported email has not been provided by the suspect (Suraju) who claimed that the copy of the purported email was sent to him by his partners in the United Kingdom and Italy, thereby making the email vague.
“From the investigation conducted, it is evident that Olarewaju Suraju without verifying the authenticity of the purported telephone interview and email proceeded to use the social media handles @HedaAgenda on Twitter and @HedaResourceCentre on Facebook to disseminate same, and when invited by the police to substantiate his claims, he feigned sickness, jumped bail and resorted to issuing press statements maligning the police, writing frivolous counter petitions and filing civil suits in court against the IGP Monitoring Unit, complainant (Adoke) and the police, aimed to undermine the investigation, derail investigation and evade justice.
“That the totality of the conduct of Olarenwaju Suraju is a calculated attempt to subject the complainant to media trial and falsify relationship between the complainant and Aliyu Abubakar while their cases are still ongoing in court, thereby misleading the public.
“Hence a prima facie case of cyber-stalking, giving false information to misled public officer, injurious falsehood and criminal defamation with intent to incite can be sustained against Mr. Olarenwaju Suraju.
“In consideration of the fact that the case involves a former Public Officer of the Federal Government of Nigeria, who is also being prosecuted by the Office of the Attorney General of Federation, and in compliance with the Inspector General of Police directives vide a letter dated September 17, 2021, the duplicate case file is hereby forwarded to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, for further necessary action,” it said.