Malabu $1.1 billion scandal: Like Nigeria, Italy ready to prosecute citizens, firms involved in scandal

adoke-and-etete

A few days after Nigeria commenced prosecution of persons involved in the OPL 245 scandal, Italian officials are also set to commence prosecution of Italians and firms involved in the shady deal.

As part of their findings, Italian prosecutors said officials of Italian oil giant, Eni, may have received $50 million bribe from the $1.1 billion the company and Shell paid into a Nigerian government account in 2011.

The money was to allow the oil firms have control of OPL 245, Nigeria’s richest oil block estimated to contain over 9 billion barrels of crude oil.

The Italian prosecutors have now concluded their investigations into the roles of Shell and ENI in the OPL 245 controversy and are set for prosecution.

In their 12-page final report, Italian prosecutors, Fabio De Pasquale and Sergio Spadaro,  concluded that 11 individuals and two companies were culpable and could be prosecuted for their roles in the deal. The individuals include the CEO of Eni, Claudio Descalzi; his predecessor, Paolo Scaroni; and businessman Luigi Bisignani, Italian media reported on Friday.

The investigators said €50 million cash was delivered to the Abuja home of  Roberto Casula, who was then the head of Eni’s business operations in sub-Saharan Africa. The money was supposedly meant for “administrators and Eni executives,” the Italian Newspaper, ilfatto quotidiano, reports.

The investigations also revealed that contrary to claims by Shell and Eni, officials of the Italian firm negotiated with former Nigerian petroleum minister, Dan Etete, and definitely knew the money they were paying to the Nigerian government would end up in Malabu accounts controlled by him.

The revelation that the Italian prosecutors are set to commence prosecution of Italians and multinational firms involved in the shady deals occurs few days after Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, EFCC, commenced the prosecution of some Nigerians and local firms found culpable in the scandal.

Sources at the EFCC and the office of Nigeria’s attorney-general, Abubakar Malami, told PREMIUM TIMES the Italian prosecutors have been coordinating and cooperating with their Nigerian counterparts. Fabio de Pasquale and other Italian prosecutors have been guests of their Nigerian counterparts several times in the past year.

Also, to ensure seamless prosecution of the indicted officials both in Nigeria and Italy, the two countries recently signed a mutual legal assistance treaty.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the EFCC on Tuesday, filed a nine-count corruption and money laundering charge against Mr. Etete, former Attorney General Mohammed Adoke, and controversial businessman Abubakar Aliyu for their roles in the scam.

Mr. Adoke it was, who authorised the transfer of $801 million of the money paid by Shell and Eni to Malabu accounts controlled by Mr. Etete despite having prior knowledge of the latter’s previous criminalities including manipulation of company registration documents of Malabu.

The former attorney general has however denied any wrongdoing and has pledged to return toNigeria to face charges.

Mr. Etete subsequently transferred over $450 million of the money he received into accounts offictitious companies controlled by Mr. Aliyu who investigators believe was a front for interested parties and top officials of the Goodluck Jonathan administration including Mr. Adoke. Those four companies were also charged by the EFCC on Tuesday.

Mr. Etete would later tell a British Court that only $250 million of the money truly belonged to him. The €50 million cash the Italian Mr. Casula received in Abuja is believed to be part of the money transferred to Mr. Aliyu by Mr. Etete.

Apart from the charges filed on Tuesday, sources at the EFCC and the Attorney General’s office told PREMIUM TIMES that more charges would be filed against individuals and firms in relation to OPL 245 after the federal high court resumes in January.

In his reaction to the charges filed by the EFCC, Simon Taylor, Director of UK based Global Witness, said, “We applaud the Nigerian authorities for fighting back against corruption without fear or favour, making sure there are real consequences for taking part in shady deals like with OPL 245.”

“This is a great step forward with the Nigerian authorities showing they are serious about tackling corruption. European and American law enforcement must also step up by fully cooperating and prosecuting anyone else culpable in this corrupt deal,” another transparency campaigner, Nicholas Hildyard of Corner House, said,

In reaction to the conclusion of investigations by the Italians, Barnaby Pace, a campaigner at Global Witness, a UK firm dedicated to transparency in the extractive sector, commended the investigations.

“Shady deals allow corrupt elites to profit at the expense of ordinary citizens.  Shell and Eni now have to answer to the Italian courts, the public and their shareholders for their part in the corrupt deal for OPL 245 – oil companies can’t get away with this kind of behaviour any longer,” he said.

Another transparency campaigner, Antonio Tricarico of Re:Common in Italy, said, “The move by Milan prosecutors today vindicates what we have believed since we filed our complaint in 2013, that the OPL 245 deal is a case of grand corruption.  Eni, Shell and their managers should be held accountable for any wrongdoing.”


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  • Izon Redeemer

    The same old lies from the pit of hell——–by the TRIPOD-ati Premium Times—-Aware All the Fulanis–Yorubas and their Ibo errand boys in APC want is to continue to place heir economic embargo —on the Ijaw Nation—-via the false prosecution of Etete by Efcc–among other Ijaws in the SS-The same way the tripod used Obj to seize All States Bank owned by an Ijaw man Chief Banigo—The very method they relied on to send David West to Prison—and seized all the properties owned by Mrs Madueke—–Now the Tripod led by thief Madu of Efcc have frozen the bank account of Mrs Jonathan—-Not satisfied they yearn to go for the jugular of Etete—–I mean there is no way the alleged Italian firm or government would prosecute anybody in the said oil deal involving Etete simply because it concerns—-an Ijaw man——Shell is known all over the globe for her transparency—–Can Efcc tell us why they are not ready to prosecute Damjumah who got his oil block the same day and time Abacha gave Etete his? Time the Ibos using Obj ati Fulani Buhari to chase Etete to stop is now———enough I enough

    • Burning Spear

      ABUJA —THE Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, yesterday, told the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on alleged corruption, malpractices and breach of due process in the award of OPL 245, that there was no sufficient evidence yet to convict the former AGF, Mohammed Adoke; ex-Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke; and former Finance Minister, Olusegun Aganga, over the $1.092 billion Malabu oil deal.

      • Rommel

        In the halliburton scandal,those that gave the bribe admitted,were tried and found guilty,but those that received the bribe are still denying

        • K.K.K

          @disqus_MSz5KF4VNF:disqus

          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.

    • Rufus

      cool down Izon warrior…. covering your eyes does not stop bad things from happening. Your people know what to do nah….. fire pipelines quick, quick…

    • Galantman

      Call or label it any name or title you want. Paint it any colour you want, but the fight against corruption is unstoppable. It’s only people like you that have a fully entrenched DNA for corruption that will feel the heat. While orther countries are jailing individuals for the same thing, you want us to be celebrating criminals here?
      Fighting corruption goes beyond individuals,tribes or regime. Even it’s flawed as you claimed , it will strengthen itself with time, because another government will be in power one day. Buhari or APC will not be there till eternity, so if they use fighting corruption to victimization as you claimed the table will surely turn against them. By the way who prevented Jonadaft, alias furtunato from jailing corrupt individuals? Perhaps because they are all birds of the same feather who flock together. You should cover your face in shame, that’s if at all you have any left

    • Rommel

      Are you not ashamed that an oil bloc said to contain about 9 billion barrels was sold for a pittance rat brains,under OBJ,China offered Nigeria $50 billion in exchange for fields containing 6 billion barrels estimate and they were told to go hug livewire,few years later under administration of drunkards perhaps,9 billion barrels when crude oil was trading above $100 barrel then goes for $1.1 billion,do these people not deserve firing squad?

      • paul irumundomon

        Firing shared is not the best painful punishment, life jail. Come my brother, is there any chief today, that don’t belong to 419 and ogboni, i look around, there is none i can say is not part 419 or ogboni class. What is today’s perquisites, to qualify, for the highest honor, from our traditional rulers. This is where, the whole mess starts.
        I see on Nigerian roads daily, how all these thieves, are worshiped by Nigerians. Everyone of us, is guilty of this worship. Go to the banks, they don’t stay in line, go to churches and mosques, they stay in front roles, they build their houses on the road, they park their cars, to obstruct, the flow of trafic.
        The same country, where the law sent 20 years old to jail for five years, for stealing ordinary phone, why those who raped nigeria, are given suspended sentence. On the freeway, if you drive expensive vehicles, with a dead body in the truck, you can drive from lagos to jos, the police only clear the road, so that you complete your journey with ease.
        Until there is a revolution, this salvo of unnecessary respect and honor, will give nigeria criminals, will not stop. They have started a new style today, open and public humiliations of poor and average Nigerians. The very people who protect and make their lives safe. Withdraw all these away from them, you will see the chicken heart in them all.

        • Julius

          Now we are talking sie, We are on the same page regarding these thieves !

        • Viva La Revolución!
          Here, here!

      • Julius

        It’s simply unbelievable. Those foreign companies laughs at us. I’ve heard that from a friend in my office here in the U S. One asked me, whats the matter with you people ? Why are you selling your country down the drains ? I had no answer.

      • marc umeh

        Blackman, which kind of god create una ?

    • marc umeh

      I beg make you go worship for your church——-The Holy Devine Church of Ibori.

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  • Citilawandcases

    DEAR EDITOR,

    First thing first……

    First thing first. Arrest the fugitive Adoke Muhamed in Holland
    where he’s hiding from the long arm of justice. Adoke Muhamed is today
    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 what’s more or less a criminal side-step of Nigeria’s Off-Shore and Petroleum laws.

    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.

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  • JasV

    Yes Nigerians are fantastically corrupt (according to that hopeless goat who couldn’t even lead his tiny island in the direction the citizens wanted). I wonder how he will describe the Italians and British owned Shell employees involved in this. May be they are pizzariously corrupt. YEYE MAN. YEYE DEY SMELL

  • marc umeh

    Blackman , which kind of god create una ?

  • Jacky

    The Jonathan administration was a complete disaster. There had been corruption in the country quite alright but in the history of Nigeria, that was the most corrupt government of all times….it was epic. Yet, Goodluck Jonathan has the guts to defend his cronies and his administration.

    • tuby NY

      YES and YES to your assertions and UNBELIEVABLE too right!? And GOOD NEW mad-too-LONG but NEVER TOO late ULTRA necessary prosecuting-efforts-synergy between Nigeria and the Italians govt to handle this “justice denied” gigantic fraud case once and FOR ALL pls.

      • fowl yas don open

        When would u as an Ibo man have the courage to request danjumah to tell us how he gpt his oil wells from abacha

    • Izon Redeemer

      Your father—————–the said oil block was handed over to Etete by Abacha and not Jonathan–so what concerns Jonathan and the issue of the oil block———–simply put why is the oil block given to Damjumah not under contention by the mumu Ibos wanting to reap from where they did not sow because Etete foolishly married an Ibo woman?

  • Izon Redeemer

    The same old lies from the pit of hell——–by the TRIPOD-ati Premium Times—-Aware All the Fulanis–Yorubas and their Ibo errand boys in APC want is to continue to place their economic embargo —on the Ijaw Nation—-via the false prosecution of Etete by Efcc–among other Ijaws in the SS-The same way the tripod used Obj to seize All States Bank owned by an Ijaw man Chief Banigo—The very method they relied on to send David West to Prison—and seized all the properties owned by Mrs Madueke—–Now the Tripod led by thief Madu of Efcc have frozen the bank account of Mrs Jonathan—-Not satisfied they yearn to go for the jugular of Etete—–I mean there is no way the alleged Italian firm or government would prosecute anybody in the said oil deal involving Etete simply because it concerns—-an Ijaw man——Shell is known all over the globe for her transparency—–Can Efcc tell us why they are not ready to prosecute Damjumah who got his oil block the same day and time Abacha gave Etete his? Time the Ibos using Obj ati Fulani Buhari to chase Etete to stop is now———enough Is enough