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UK group declares support for Nigerian anti-corruption activist

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A UK anti-corruption group, Global Witness, has declared support for a Nigerian activist, Olanrewaju Suraju, who was recently questioned by the police based on a petition by Nigeria’s former attorney-general, Mohammed Adoke.

Mr Suraju’s civil society organisation, HEDA, and other international anti-graft CSOs including Global Witness have been at the forefront of the demand for justice over the Malabu OPL 245 scandal involving Mr Adoke and many others including oil giants, Shell and Eni.

While the prosecution of the suspects is still ongoing in Nigeria, a court in Milan recently discharged the oil giants and their officials who were named in the scandal which involved the transfer of about $1 billion from the oil giants to private Nigerian accounts for the control of an oil block, OPL 245. Mr Adoke was involved in the negotiation as Nigeria’s attorney general during the Goodluck Jonathan administration but has denied any wrongdoing.

Mr Adoke recently sent a petition to the IGP’s office demanding a probe of an email evidence presented against him by prosecutors in the Malabu trial in Milan, Italy.

The former attorney-general also later complained to the police that some people, one of whom he suspected to be Mr Suraju, circulated a fake tape purporting it to be that of an interview he had with an Italian journalist admitting that the Malabu transaction was a scam.

It was based on the petition that the anti-corruption activist was interrogated by the police.

“Instead of investigating the facts, where evidence in the public domain would demonstrate the allegations in the complaint to be false, this has become a story of ongoing police harassment and intimidation,” Global Witness said in its Tuesday statement.

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