Malabu: Why EFCC filed corruption charges against Shell, Eni, Adoke, others

Former Minister Dan Etete, the man behind Malabu
Former Minister Dan Etete, the man behind Malabu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday filed a three-count charge against two multinational oil firms, Shell and ENI, for their roles in the $1.1 billion Malabu oil scam.

The EFCC had in December filed related charges against two former Nigerian ministers, Mohammed Adoke and Dan Etete, and others after concluding investigations on the 2011 controversial‎ sale of OPL 245.

The alleged fraud committed by the ex-Nigerian officials and officials of the oil firms, has also led to investigations and charges in Italy.

The EFCC had also secured a court order ensuring the return of the OPL 245 to the Nigerian government, pending the determination of the court case against the defendants.

Although Shell and ENI have appealed that court order obtained on January 26, both companies were not charged for their roles by the Nigerian government until Thursday.

The defendants according to the fresh charge include the Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company Limited; Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited; ENI SPA: the then directors of the oil firms, Ralph Wetzels, Casula Roberto, Pujati Stefeno, and Burrafato Sebastiano; Dauzia Lauya also known as Dan Etete;Mohammed Adoke; Aliyu Abubakar, and Malabu Oil and Gas Limited.

‎Messrs Casula and Etete were also among those ‎indicted‎ by Italian prosecutors who have indicated their intentions to file charges against them.

According to the charges filed on Thursday, the defendants were accused of committing the crime of conspiracy to commit felony against the provisions of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences, ICPC, Act.

The oil firms and their then directors were also alleged to have fraudulently paid $801 million to Messrs. Adoke, Etete, Aliyu, and Malabu for the oil block.

OPL 245 is considered one of Nigeria’s richest oil blocks and estimated to contain over nine billion barrels of crude.

Investigations had revealed that former President Goodluck Jonathan ordered the handing over of OPL 245 to Malabu, shortly after assuming office in 2010.

According to investigations, Mr. Jonathan asked the then Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, to solidify the transfer of OPL 245 to Malabu, a company then controlled by a fellow Nigerian from the Niger-Delta region, Dan Etete.

Despite Mr. Jonathan’s directive that Malabu be given OPL 245, the company really did not exist and had no staff or technical competence to manage the block. Based on advice from desperate businessmen, including an Israeli, Ednan Agaev, Mr. Etete decided to cash in on the block.

Through various middlemen, the former minister approached oil giants, Shell and ENI, to buy the block. Knowing Mr. Etete’s history, including the fact that he had been convicted in France for money laundering, the oil firms would not do a direct deal.

For the transaction to continue, a legally recognised mediator would have to be found.

That mediator turned out to be the Nigerian government, represented by Mr. Adoke.

The agreements that were sealed led to Shell and ENI paying the $1.1 billion into a Nigerian government account in JP Morgan Chase in London. The money was to then be transferred to Malabu accounts controlled by Mr. Etete.

Although Shell and ENI have repeatedly claimed they did not know the money was going to end up with Malabu, investigations in Nigeria and Italy as well as leaked documents revealed that claim to be false. Mr. Adoke himself would later admit that he, on behalf of the federal government, only acted as a mediator for two willing parties – Malabu and the oil majors. Mr. Adoke was, however, aware of the various fraudulent manipulations of Malabu by Mr. Etete when he authorised the transaction, multiple sources have told PREMIUM TIMES.

TRANSFERS TO FRAUDULENT FIRMS

To ensure no one stopped the shady transfer of the $1.1 billion to Mr. Etete, the money had to be quickly transferred. More so, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was set to assume office as Nigeria’s Finance Minister and the officials involved were not sure she would play ball.

On August 16, 2011, a day before Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala was to assume office, Mr. Adoke and the then Minister of State for Finance, Yerima Ngama, authorised the transfer of the money to Malabu accounts in Nigeria controlled by Mr. Adoke. However, all the $1.1 billion could not be transferred. Emeka Obi, a man who claimed he helped broker the deal between Malabu and the oil majors filed a suit in the UK, that ensured $215 million was frozen of the money. The remaining $801 million was subsequently transferred to Mr. Etete: $400 million was transferred to a Bank PHB account while $401 million was transferred to a First Bank account.

Immediately Mr. Etete received the money, curious transfers began. PREMIUM TIMES investigations, now confirmed by the EFCC, reveal that shady companies linked to Abubakar Aliyu received about $479 million dollars from Mr. Etete. Our investigations later showed that most of the companies were non-existent and used fake addresses in their registration documents.

The companies – Rocky Top Resource Ltd, Imperial Union Ltd, Novel Properties & Dev. Co. Ltd, A-Group Construction Ltd, and Megatech Engineering Ltd – were all charged in the suit filed by the EFCC last December.
While Mr. Etete later admitted that only $250 million of the money paid into his account was his, Mr. Aliyu is believed to have acted as a front for officials of the Goodluck Jonathan administration, including Mr. Adoke.


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  • Arabakpura

    …and Jonathan is a good and peaceful man!

    • City Lawyers

      @arabakpura:disqus

      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.

      Mohammed Adoke, an ignorant fellow, 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 2015,
      the United States Justice Department in Washington D.C said it has begun
      criminal investigation of two counter-parties to Dan Etete’s OPL 245 fraud
      transaction. On the wording of ‘obligor’ that the daft Muhammed Adoke as
      attorney general inserted, ex-President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan may just be one
      of the two ‘counter-parties’ now under investigation for money-laundering in
      the United States of America for wangling out a whopping $1.2 billion

      • Arabakpura

        Thanks a lot! … and Jonathan is a good and Peaceful man!

  • sammyctu ode

    When the people of A country vote for a president it’s cos they have faith and confidence in him to ensure that the interest of that country is well protected by that president. However it’s not the case with Jonathan he chose his personal greedy corrupt immature interest over that of Nigeria thereby giving away one of the most priced assets of Nigeria to foreign companies and a few evil Nigerians. As far as i am concerned Jonathan is a rouge thief an immature boy who should have never be president of Nigeria. He must be indicted for this OPL 245 corruption cos without his instructions and approval this corruption saga would never have occurred.

  • emmanuel

    Osinbade should note that this Oil Block cannot go to any foolani man – period.
    It must remain in the South South. Those who have handled his visits and the negotiations should inform him. Nigeria must re-open the processes of all Oil blocks allocated in the past or renewed by Buhari last year. They all suffered same fate, so they cannot make the World believe that this is the only one that went through payment of commissions or cuts.
    Sheer hypocrisy.
    Buhari’s Magu should re-open the blocks held by Indimi, one of the considerations for the latest marriage; since that automatically remove IBB from the picture (After Mohammed and Indimi’s daughter broke up – the initial seal on the block). Abi dem think say Nigerians dey blind?

  • emmanuel

    Shhhhhhhh, all Oil blocks allocated from Buhari in 1985 to Obj went through very similar process. Those who transact in the Oil sector and finace Industry know this. You can demonise Jonathan, but what is done here is similar hype that sent Jonathan from office.
    The SS cannot be the weeping child all the time. We all suffered the back lash in Crude shut-in from February 2016 to February 2017.
    When it relates to foolani and Yoruba, it is a no discuss issue, but once it is South South and Igbo, then the media is deployed to malign.
    Shell and Eni are fighting back, because they know that all other blocks traded in the past by any other IOC had same thing, including Buhari new in-laws’.

  • Mary

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  • Shahokaya

    “Despite Mr. Jonathan’s directive that Malabu be given OPL 245, the company really did not exist and had no staff or technical competence to manage the block.” Phd holder indeed.

    • News Reader

      How Adoke, Etete, Alhaji Abubakar and General Gusau robbed Nigeria

      “(MILAN, Oct 1). Italian prosecutors investigating state-backed
      firm Eni SpA over the purchase of a Nigerian oil field three years ago allege
      that at least half of the $1.1 billion paid was used to bribe local
      politicians, intermediaries and others, according to official documents and a
      person close to the investigation. The Malabu oil scam, which has been under
      investigation for over four years, relates to the billions of dollars paid by
      oil giants, Shell and ENI, into a Federal Government account for OPL 245,
      considered the richest oil block in Africa. The money was allegedly diverted by
      Adoke and paid into private accounts. Alhaji Abubakar Aliyu, who is the
      Chairman of the A. A. Group and Rocky Top Services, allegedly received
      $336,456,906.78.”

    • emmanuel

      Was Indimi, Mai Deribe, Theophlus Danjuma and the severl foolanis ans Southerners used as their fronts for all other Oil block IOC’s? They all registered their companies to acquire the Oil blocks.
      Please tell us another story.
      Etete was Oil Minister, Alakija was a hair dresser, Indimi was a commodity trader, Danjuma was a soldier. nonsense!

      • We dey hear

        “Without competitive tendering and with full, unconditional exemption from all national taxes,
        the OPL 245 block was bought illegally in contravention of domestic laws. In total, $801.5 million
        was allegedly transferred to Etete’s Malabu accounts; and $466 million out of the amount was
        used for remunerating government officials, including Jonathan and Alison-Madueke.
        A suspected “agent” of Jonathan, named Abubakar Aliyu, is alleged to have
        withdrawn a further $54 million and beneficiaries of the money went on a
        shopping spree buying property, aeroplanes, armoured cars.”

        ……..Italy Prosecutors’ filed charges in Italian Court

        (December, 2016)

        • The Revolutionaries

          @shahokaya:disqus

          There’s no peaceful way to resolve Nigeria’s theft crisis.
          Blood must flow. No country can move forward surrounded by heinous thefts –
          of stolen money, stolen lands, stolen cars, and stolen status. All treasury thieves
          in Nigeria now need to be physically attacked and killed.

          The families of treasury thieves –
          wives and children – must also be swiftly laid to rest in perfect peace
          since they are not entitled to inherit stolen assets under any written will.
          The thefts since October 1st 1960 must all be brought to revolutionary
          justice on the streets under the death penalty in the Constitution.

          The deciders of who shall get the death penalty
          will be the youths – armed as ordinary citizens and formed into cells as
          well-organized militias. In 30 days of swift and bloody justice on the streets,
          the story of corruption will end in Nigeria for the grave-diggers to then bury the
          remains of those consumed by the people’s revolution. Nigerians may delay or
          dither over this final solution but that is what’s going to happen. The longer it is
          delayed, the worse for the country now stolen into darkness.

      • Sanssouci

        We all get ur point but pls consider the following:
        1) mohammed bello adoke, aliyu abubakar and aliyu gusau are all northern muslims, and all neck deep in this shit.
        2)if indimi, alakija and danjuma all got their oil blocks by performing international fraud why have international authorities not gone after them in the past?
        3) since u have facts about indimi, alakija, danjuma that most of us dont, why didnt u urge GEJ to go after them when he was at helm of affairs?
        4) doesnt it bother u one bit that a bloc containing 9.23 billion barrels probable reserves was sold for 1.1billion$ at a time a barrel was higher than 100$? Do u sincerely think dan ete and GEJ worked in SS people’s interest in doing so?

        • speechtherapy

          With due respect bros, there are many sides to this transaction that you and the public in general are unaware of but sadly are quick to jump to judgment about. For one thing, it was not the GEJ govt that agreed a settlement with Malabu, it was OBJs government but were unable to implement it because Shell took them to court to stop it. In fact Shell was close to securing a claim of $2B against the Nigerian govt for same.

          I work in the oil industry and have followed this case from the onset, the real crime here does in no way include withholding money from the Nigeria purse, in fact the Nigerian govt got $201M in signature bonus themselves instead of the original $20M it had charged for same. Like I said, too many sides to this, I suggest we wait till the court cases commence.

    • Forensics

      @shahokaya:disqus

      How JONATHAN walked into a minefield of moneylaundering

      Goodluck Jonathan may just have been led by the nose into a deadly minefield of international moneylaundering
      by his usually moronic attorney-general, Adoke Muhammed, but alas, Jonathan may not exit this criminal tangle
      for the next 20 years, just as Dan Etete himself has not exited it since the year 1998.

      Goodluck Jonathan is his own undoing. He is a slow thinker and a bad decider of sensible options. Even in his
      choice of attorney-general he picked the most atrocious of the 100,000 lawyers on offer. Now he has to stew in
      his own juices. He doesn’t deserve any sympathy. It is even a crime of abetment of felony to support Jonathan
      over this OPL 245. Were both Jonathan and Adoke possessed of average intelligence the duo could have
      easily resolved the Malabu Oil tussle with Shell Oil company over OPL 245 without their getting implicated,
      as has happened, in moneylaundering offences at home and abroad, following from the very daft options
      both men selected. But see. Adoke does not know the law and Jonathan too does not know the logic.

      • Forensics

        …….(2) How JONATHAN walked into a minefield of moneylaundering

        It was Goodluck Jonathan who authorised that Eni Oil company pay $1.1billion.
        into JP Morgan’s New York bank account of Nigeria’s NNPC state oil company to
        disguise it as official payment. Within weeks Jonathan then authorised that the
        entire funds be transferred to JP Morgan’s branch in London en route Dan Etete;
        where the loot was then shared out to seven criminal co-conspirators, including
        a Russian citizen. Already the Italians have signaled intention to subpoena Dan
        Etete for trial. The currently filed case in Nigeria will not preclude simultaneous
        criminal trial in Italy because no double jeopardy doctrine is legally invocable
        for distinct criminal offences committed in two different jurisdictions.

        Dan Etete himself is now frustrated
        and flustered and has begun to squeal on his accomplices. Dan Etete has
        said late last year that $800 million out of the $1.1 billion bribe money was
        pocketed by other people in the deal, as he only took $250million. That means
        he will now be ready to squeal on all those other people who spirited away the
        $800million., most likely including Goodluck Jonathan and General Aliyu Gusau
        whom Italian investigators have specifically fingerpointed in the charges filed
        in court in Milan, Italy, to begin the criminal prosecution of all the bribe-takers.

        Reckoned in historical years,
        Dan Etete who practically stole OPL 245 (by corrupt self-award as Petroleum
        Minister)
        has been struggling in vain since the year 1998 to get away
        with the 250 million dollars loot he got from his criminal brace, but he’s only
        got more entangled as defendant in severe criminal prosecutions; both in
        Italy and Nigeria. Even in his self-chosen profession of looting Dan Etete is a
        failure after 20 years of failing to run away from his own crime scene. But now,
        Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and Adoke Muhammed may become Dan Etete’s heirs
        or successors, and locked into this criminal case with him; having been his privies
        in the daft conspiracy to coax Eni oil company in Italy to fork out the $1.1billion.

        • Pastor J.J.Jones

          “The love of money is the root of all evil; which, while some coveted after, they erred from faith
          and pierced themselves with sorrows. For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro, of those who seek death. There are thorns and snares on the path of the crooked. One who guards himself prudently will stay far from the crooked”.

          • Forensics

            Reckoned in historical years,
            Dan Etete who practically stole OPL 245 (by corrupt self-award as Petroleum
            Minister)
            has been struggling in vain since the year 1998 to get away
            with the 250 million dollars loot he got from his criminal brace, but he’s only
            got more entangled as defendant in severe criminal prosecutions; both in
            Italy and Nigeria. Even in his self-chosen profession of looting Dan Etete is a
            failure after 20 years of failing to run away from his own crime scene. But now,
            Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and Adoke Muhammed may become Dan Etete’s heirs
            or successors, and locked into this criminal case with him; having been his privies
            in the daft conspiracy to coax Eni oil company in Italy to fork out the $1.1billion.

        • Kaykay

          @shahokaya:disqus : Goodluck Ebele Jonathan did not have any spatial awareness in office
          or ever understood the duties and functions of the office of president he occupied by
          chance and happenstance. He was lost in space and lost in thoughts unable to think
          anything through. Goodluck Jonathan left no moral legacy behind but instead left a
          wrecked country tossed all around in criminal docks for high crimes and untold thefts.

      • ::????????

        WHY DID GOODLUCK JONATHAN BRING OUT HIS NOSE FOR ADOKE TO PULL ANYHOW?

        • Agoro

          ….no sense….no morals…no thinking…no gumption….no knowledge…..nothing good…..
          ………..Jonathan did not even occupy any space……and of course he had no weight………
          ………It will continue to be a tragedy in history…..that Nigeria was ruled by a bloody buffoon………

  • thusspokez

    Day #1:
    EFCC files corruption charges against Shell, Eni, Adoke, others

    Day #2:
    Why EFCC filed corruption charges against Shell, Eni, Adoke, others

    Day #3:
    Shell, Eni, Adoke, others deny corruption charges

    Day #4:
    Why Shell, Eni, Adoke, others deny corruption charges

    Day #5:

  • Word on Marble

    @thusspokez:disqus

    Words on Marble:

    “Dan Etete himself is now frustrated
    and flustered and has begun to squeal on his accomplices. Dan Etete has
    said late last year that $800 million out of the $1.1 billion bribe money was
    pocketed by other people in the deal, as he only took $250million. That means
    he will now be ready to squeal on all those other people who spirited away the
    $800million., most likely including Goodluck Jonathan and General Aliyu Gusau
    whom Italian investigators have specifically fingerpointed in the charges filed
    in court in Milan, Italy, to begin the criminal prosecution of all the bribe-takers.”

    ……………..@Forensics