In merry-go-round, Nigerian parliament commences fresh inquiry into Malabu oil deal


Members of Nigeria’s House of Representatives panel investigating the controversial Malabu oil deal on Wednesday expressed strong reservations about the attitude of firms caught in the scandal.

The House in January 2016 set up another ad-hoc committee to look into allegations of financial crimes in the lease of OPL 245 oil block in Nigerian waters.

A former Minister of Petroleum, Dan Etete, awarded the lease of OPL 245 in April 1998 to Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd., a firm later traced to him.

Diezani Allison-Madueke

The Nigerian government later in 2009 brokered a fraudulent deal that led to the transfer of the oil bloc to Shell and Eni Agip with the oil majors paying about $1 billion to Malabu accounts through the federal government.

Although Shell and Agip had long maintained innocence since the fraud was first uncovered by the administration of Olusegun Obasanjo, a leak of internal emails of the companies later indicated their involvement.

It is not immediately clear why the House launched an all-new investigation into the affair since the same body had also found the oil firms culpable and ordered immediate cancellation of the contract following a thorough enquiry in 2014.

All the House needed to do was ask that its previous resolutions be enforced by the new administration.

Also, the scandal had been a subject of a worldwide investigation in five different countries including in Nigeria by the EFCC.

Bello Adoke
Bello Adoke

Several officials of the Goodluck Jonathan administration, including former Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, and ex-Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, are being investigated for the scam.

At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, Razak Atunwa, chairman of the committee, scolded officials of Shell Nigeria and NNPC for their alleged attempts at frustrating the investigations.

Mr. Atunwa said he had powers to launch the investigation following repeated challenge by Shell questioning the essence of a new committee as well as its legal standing.

After blasting Shell officials for seeking “unnecessary adjournment” of the inquiry, Mr. Atunwa, chairman of the House Committee on Justice, delivered a harsh criticism of NNPC, saying the failure of the state-run oil firm to appear before the committee was “contemptible.”

“It smacks of a cover up that they’re running from contributing to this investigation,” Mr. Atunwa said.

Mr. Atunwa adjourned the hearing to October 18 and warned of harsh consequences against further efforts aimed at stonewalling the proceeding.

“This committee will not tolerate any implicit or explicit attempts by anyone, no matter how highly placed, to frustrate or forestall this highly crucial investigation.”

NNPC spokesman, Garbadeen Mohammed, did not respond to PREMIUM TIMES enquiries for comments.

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  • Dán-gote Updates


  • musa aliyu

    What do u expect them to do whent’s no more constituency projects? They must find ways to assuage their corrupt thirsts.

    • Citilawoffice


      Mohammed Adoke, a stuttering ignoramus, was of course dead wrong
      on point of law. He said the federal government – i.e. President Jonathan
      – merely acted as an ‘obligor’ – to sound confident that no liability would
      ensue. But an obligor does not mean an innocent bystander in law but rather
      means a full participant as counter-party to a transaction. In June 2014, the
      United States Justice Department in Washington D.C said it has begun criminal
      investigation of two counter-parties to this OPL 245 transaction. On the
      wording of ‘an obligor’ daft Muhammed Adoke inserted, ex-President Jonathan may
      just be one of the two ‘counter-parties’ now under investigation for
      money-laundering in America.

      First thing first. Arrest the fugitive Adoke Muhamed in
      Holland where he’s hiding from the long arm of justice. Adoke Muhamed is to day
      a fugitive. He must be arrested before any progress can be made on the stealing
      by tricks via the illegal deals on OPL 245. On the OPL 245 money-transfer,
      Mohammed Adoke could be ex-President Jonathan’s Achilles’ heel for assuring
      Jonathan and the general public that no criminal or civil liability would
      follow Jonathan’s private business as A BROKER of a private deal between SHELL
      OIL and MALABU OIL on the illegal sale of OPL 245 under the table in criminal
      side-step of Nigeria’s Off-Shore and Petroleum laws.

      • musa aliyu

        While I agree that the crime was committed the question remains: who’s going to arrest who? Law breakers that steal #20,000,000 monthly from us? You are missing my point. These thieves are not opening this case because they think of you and I but what they will get.

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