Malabu OPL245 Fraud: Dan Etete wants Nigeria’s N17 billion

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

British court will on Tuesday, December 15, decide whether  $85 million (N17 billion) frozen by UK authorities should be released to a fraudulent company, Malabu Oil and Gas, controlled by ex-convict, Dan Etete.

The money, frozen at the request of Italian authorities, is part of the $1.092 billion paid by oil giants, Shell and ENI, to Malabu through the Nigerian government.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported on the deal, enmeshed in various layers of corruption, and currently under investigation by authorities in four countries from three continents.

The $1.092 billion was meant as payment for an oil bloc, OPL 245, the juiciest oil bloc in Africa and estimated to contain about 9.23 billion barrels of crude oil.

Mr. Etete awarded the oil bloc to Malabu in 1998 while he was Nigeria’s petroleum minister against Nigerian laws as he failed to declare his interest in the company and actually falsified a fictional character, Kweku Amafegha, through which he owned shares in the company.

Both the givers, Shell and ENI, and the Nigerian government have given contradictory reasons on the 2011 agreement which led to Mr. Etete being paid money which should have gone to improving the lives of Nigerians.

While Shell and ENI have, contrary to all evidence, claimed that they paid the money to the Nigerian government not knowing who the final beneficiary would be, the Nigerian government through the former attorney general, Mohammed Adoke, claimed it only acted as a  “facilitator” between two willing parties.

However, while about two thirds of the money (over $800 million) has been shared and largely spent by Mr. Etete and his cohorts, about $195 million dollars remain frozen in two separate countries- England and Switzerland.

Summary of Malabu's history

Summary of Malabu’s history. Source: Global Witness

Freezing $110 million

The first of the frozen sum, $110.5 million (N22.1 billion) is held by Swiss authorities on the request of Italian prosecutors who are investigating ENI’s role in the fraud.

The money was transferred to Switzerland from London after a shadowy businessman, Emeka Obi, through his company, Energy Venture Partners (EVP), won a suit against Malabu. Mr. Obi sued Malabu in London claiming he was entitled to a share of the largesse as he had helped facilitate the deal between the oil majors and Malabu. In July 2013, the High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division presided by Lady Justice Gloster ruled in favour of Mr. Obi that he was entitled to “a fee of 8.5% of the total disposal consideration of $1.3 billion.”

Following the court’s ruling, the money was transferred to EVP’s Swiss accounts. However, Italian authorities who had by then started investigating the fraudulent deal asked Swiss authorities to freeze the money where it has since remained.

The London $85 million

Like it did in Switzerland, the Italian prosecutors also called for a freeze of $85 million in the London account. The money was the last part of the OPL 245 largesse not yet distributed.

However, sensing that the Muhammadu Buhari administration was yet to find its feet on international legal matters, Mr. Etete approached the British court and asked that the money be returned to him.

At a two-day hearing that started on November 23, Mr. Etete’s lawyers argued that there was no fraud in the deal and asked that the money be released to him.

While Mr. Etete argued that the money be released to him, the Italian prosecutor argued that “their investigation could lead to a potential forfeiture of the money down the road,” a source who has followed the case and was present at the proceedings told PREMIUM TIMES.

Malabu’s lawyers told the court that freezing the money was an assault on Nigeria and questioned how the court could imagine that Nigeria’s former Attorney general, Mr. Adoke, and Minister of State for Finance, Yerima Ngama, who both authorised the deal could be a party to corruption.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported how both Messrs. Adoke and Ngama hurriedly approved the transfer of the $1.092 billion of the total sum from Nigeria’s London account into Malabu’s accounts a day before former World Bank Managing Director, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was to assume office as Nigeria’s Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister of the Economy.

Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala later washed her hands off the deal and referred all enquiries to Mr. Adoke, who as reported by PREMIUM TIMES lied to Nigerians and the House of Representatives about the deal.

At the British Court on November 23 and 24, Malabu’s lawyers did not disclose to the judge that Mr. Etete was recently questioned by the anti-graft agency, EFCC, which is investigating the case and stated in an interim report that the deal was fraught with corruption.

At the court, the Crown Prosecutor argued that the money should remain frozen and described the 2011 agreement as a “smashing grab of the Nigerian government then in the hands of Goodluck Jonathan.”

It involved “high watering amount of money” and was centred on a “corrupt arrangement,” he told the court.

The prosecutor described Mr. Etete as a “bagman” who has distributed the funds to “prominent Nigerian figures.”

The prosecutor listed the $10 million paid to Bayo Ojo, Nigeria’s former Attorney General, and over $500 million paid to Abubakar Aliyu, a man described as “Mr. Corruption” by EFCC officials and a close ally of ex-President Jonathan and other PDP leaders, as evidence of the distributions.

The prosecutor said Malabu has not been able to justify the money given to these individuals and that there was “a strong inference of corruption,” in the deal.

He described the deal as a textbook example of grand corruption and the involvement of the Nigerian government as a necessary part of it being grand.

Nigeria absent

Although the Malabu deal is being investigated by the anti-graft agency, EFCC, which recently invited Mr. Aliyu for questioning, and the presidential committee on corruption, Nigeria was not represented during the London hearing.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported how the EFCC investigation was stalled during the Jonathan administration with investigators lamenting they were discouraged from proceeding with their work although an interim EFCC investigation report stated that the deal and transfers of the money showed a “cloudy scene associated with fraudulent dealings.”

Barnaby Pace, an oil transparency campaigner with Global Witness, expressed surprise at Nigeria’s absence at the London court giving the opportunity the country has not only to retrieve the money but also to set a major example of President Buhari’s repeatedly stated stance of firm opposition to corruption.

“The Nigerian government coming out to say this a corrupt deal is a massive game changer,” he said. “It’s a fairly obvious test case for the Nigerian government.”

However sources at both the EFCC and the Nigerian Vice President’s office confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that the government was now aware of the case and would cooperate with both the Italian and British authorities to ensure all the fraudulent sums are returned to Nigeria.

Irrespective of how Nigeria acts, the decision whether or not to release the $85 million to Mr. Etete will be made by the British judgeon Tuesday.

UPDATE: Information just reaching PREMIUM TIMES indicate that Justice Edis of the SouthWark Crown Court has postponed ruling on the $85 million. The judgement will now be given on Tuesday, December 15.

This story has been edited to reflect the new information.

Infographic---Malabu


DOWNLOAD THE PREMIUM TIMES MOBILE APP

Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD:DIABETES Is CURABLE! Don't Let It Threaten You! To NORMALIZE Your Blood Sugar In 21Days For Life, Click Here!!!.


All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.


  • taiwo

    Money!!

    • Dr. E. Alabi-Taiwo

      @disqus_xjB3WXuNil:disqus,

      I have lost interest in President Muhammadu Buhari. That’s because i have lost faith in him.
      He is not the sort of historical figure that can change the history or destiny of a country, no!
      The false image he caries all his life – from WASC to probity – has put me off Buhari for life.
      He is not a honest or knowledgeable human being any reasonable can rely on for progress.

      Even on anti-corruption he’s dubious and merely flatters to deceive by cherry-picking enemies.
      Buhari is too naive in my view and assumes he was elected to come and fight his rival PDP only.
      Very naive – he does not see corruption as corruption per se – no, he puts party label on thefts.
      I am not surprised he’s been railed against in America as a prodigal who is absent in the court.
      It must take a sense of gross irresponsibility, indeed, for a country’s president to be this slack.

      • Burbank

        That you have lost interest in Buhari is understandable, since the era of impunity and “stealing is not corruption” is over.

        • dandee

          @Timurlame:disqus

          How do you know that @taiwo is corrupt? A whole Ph.D is corrupt too?

      • Ways Inc

        @Taiwo, there is just one question to ask from you: Why did Jonathan Administration refused to submit the Documentations of all the ministries on time before they left? Why is it on the 28th of May, 2015? Please I need a solid answer with solid explanation. Thanks. God Bless Federal Republic Of Nigeria. God Bless Me And You. God is Working.

  • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

    Buhari Destroyed Nigeria In 6 Months – Alhaji Balarabe Musa.

    1] $1 is equal to N261 today in Parallel Market.
    2] Nigeria dropped from No 1 Investment destination to 7th in Africa.
    3] Price of a Bag of rice jumped from N8,000 to N13,000.
    4] 1,293,000 Nigerian lost their jobs in 5 months.
    5] About N1trn paid out for Fuel subsidy and still no Fuel anywhere.
    6] N25billion a day payment for REMITA swept under the carpet.
    7] N5billion from Foreign reserved squandered.
    8] $4.3billion external loan received in few months.
    9] Billions of Naira spend on Salary bailout, yet workers and pensioners are still being owed [Used to thank those that sponsored Buhari’s campaign].
    10] Elections results now are written in Buhari’s office, those that opposes the fraud are treated as criminals. Kogi and Bayelsa can say better.
    11] Over N14billion spent in 5 months for President’s travel bills, yet not a single investor have looked at Nigerian side.
    12] Freedom of speech is now luxury as list of blogger, reporters and newspapers owners that will be jailed have been complied.

    It is a shame that the gains of Nigerian in 55 years is destroyed in just 6 Months. ‪#‎ChangeIndeed‬.

    -Are the oil wells which Abacha gave Danjuma as dash under investigation by any country in the world—–?Late Abacha gave two oil blocks to Danjuma and Etete-Sadly for theIjaw Nation only that of Etete an Ijaw man is in dispute-by the Fulanis and Ibos-Whereas that of Damjumah was sold by him to the Chinese and made more than 1 b dollars out of the deal–Now the Ibos decided to align with the Fulanis to take Etete to court but not that of Danjuma—-what a shame———what a country! Separation is the only answer——–with no attachment to any ethnic group in Nigeria!

    • Buhari4Ever

      Deri Orbuka, go and find something to do with your life instead of wasting it on the internet typing rubbish

      • Burbank

        He will wailed until 2023.
        Sai Buhari

      • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

        U who have something to do with your dirty regional life why< are u here–animals

    • Burbank

      Q. What did PDP destroyed in 16 years?
      A. Nigeria, totally left in ruin.

      • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

        How old is Nigeria–54 years old and when was oil discovered in 1957—monkey tell that crap to the dogs

        • Burbank

          And 16 years with huge oil money, PDP failed even to provide proper electricity and running water to Nigeria

  • Folade

    Goodluck Jonathan and Mohammed Adoke are the two key criminal suspects on OPL 245.
    But has President Buhari sought salvage since he resumed office on 29th May? Of course not.
    Only naive Nigerians will believe President Buhari fights corruption, nobody abroad believes it.
    President Muhammadu Buhari is a detritus of Nigeria’s corruption. He doesn’t fight any corruption.

    • Burbank

      Those abroad had looted the money.

  • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

    The witch-hunt–against the Ijaw Nation must be stopped–by all means possible-and–now! From Chief Banigo –Zebulon Abule—-Tompolo to Etete ati Mrs Madueke——-why Nigeria–? Is it a sin for God to locate oil wells in the SS?——–The answer to our troubles lies in the stupidity of the Ijaw elites, who still regard the Tripod–Ibos- Fulanis ati Yorubas——as members of the human family—————– Late Abacha gave two oil blocks to Danjuma and Etete repectively-Sadly for theIjaw Nation, only that of Etete an Ijaw man as it is usual with Nigerians from the old regions of the country, is in dispute-by the Fulanis and Ibos-Whereas that of Danjumah was sold by him to the Chinese and made more than 1b dollars out of the deal-Ete since our freedom from the British in 1960, is the only Ijaw man to aquire an oil well since the discovery of crude oil in his enclave Bayelsa state-in the Niger Delta—-Now the Ibos have decided to align with the Fulanis, to take Etete to court but not that of Danjuma—-what a shame———what a country! Separation is the only answer——–with no attachment to any ethnic group in Nigeria! That is our quest–Freedom is our goal————

    • Buhari4Ever

      Every witch must be hunted and killed if they refuse to die on their own

      • Beth Murphy

        God will punish them. Buhari is not push over like Yam and Goat. Izon Redeemer is a complete scum. No need to response to his copy and paste. check all his post. all is copy and paste.

      • Burbank

        Even if they die on their own, they need to be revived and then killed.

  • short & sharpe

    IT IS A SHAME AND A DISGRACE THAT THIS OPL 245 WHICH SHOULD BE FIRST PRIORITY,
    WITH $1.2 BILLION AT STAKE, WAS FORGOTTEN BY THE SHAMBOLIC BUHARI GOVERNMENT
    WHICH IS INSTEAD BUSY RUNNING AFTER 400,000 DOLLARS IN BODE GEORGE’S POCKET.

    • N-Hour

      “In December 1980, exactly 35 years ago, the Naira was one dollar and eight cent,

      but today, a dollar is N260, the weakest it has ever been since its introduction

      42 years ago. The Naira, which was introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

      on January 1,1973, fell to its lowest on Friday, trading at 260 to the greenback

      on the parallel market.”

      ……CABLE
      (December 14th, 2015)

      • Burbank

        Same for most major world currencies; Russian rouble performed worse than the naira.

    • Burbank

      You mean the $5bn Dasuki diverted to PDP and ThisDay on GEJ instructions.

      • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

        No it was on the insteruction of late ojukwu

        • Burbank

          And Nnamdi Kanu is caged in my zoo.

  • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

    The witch-hunt–against the Ijaw Nation must be stopped–by all means possible-and–now! From Chief Banigo –Zebulon Abule—-Tompolo to Etete ati Mrs Madueke——-why Nigeria–? Is it a sin for God to locate oil wells in the SS?——–The answer to our troubles lies in the stupidity of the Ijaw elites, who still regard the Tripod–Ibos- Fulanis ati Yorubas——as members of the human family—————– Late Abacha gave two oil blocks to Danjuma and Etete repectively-Sadly for theIjaw Nation, only that of Etete an Ijaw man as it is usual with Nigerians from the old regions of the country, is in dispute-by the Fulanis and Ibos-Whereas that of Danjumah, was sold by him to the Chinese and made more than 1b dollars out of the deal-Etete since our freedom from the British in 1960, is the only Ijaw man to aquire an oil well from the oil rich zones of the SS. And since the discovery of crude oil in his enclave, Bayelsa state-in the Niger Delta—-Now the Ibos have decided to align with the Fulanis, to take Etete to court but not that of Danjuma—-what a shame———what a country! Separation is the only answer——–with no attachment to any ethnic group in Nigeria! That is our quest–Freedom is our goal————Better to be free in poverty than remain slaves under the oil riches of the SS-

    • Höly Wähala

      You forgot to add, “let my people go biko”

      • B. Messi

        Lol.
        Just passing bye o…

        • Höly Wähala

          Keep walking… ode!

          • B. Messi

            Hahaha!
            Barman, no vex abeg.
            No be my fault una chanji don get K-leg.

          • Höly Wähala

            At least, we still dey waka… #WiarisDumbo?
            He must end up in jail as proof to you that “changi” means business…
            Jus no worry, long journey na one step at a time, we go get there surely.
            Afterall, it took the PDP a long 16yrs, we’re only 6months old. Hahaha Bobby ol’ Buddy, grab odeku… I carry! (cash)

    • Burbank

      “Better to be free in poverty than remain slaves under the oil riches of the SS”

      Pass me the popcorn

  • Burning spear

    This is what we call (Pretrified Junk journalism) that is a janajweed news story sponsored by the Apes in APC ati the regionalist, without adequate research, investigation or information before publication. Purely designed to play on the sentiments of Nigerians against the Ijaw Nation.-Yet the same media men, are not prepared to question the Fulanis ati Yorubas who own my oil wells in the SS. The Junk journalism being practiced by Premium Times-is simply aimed to promote traffic to their news site or to get public patronage by fabricating alarming pack of lies to newsreaders daily on her website—Why should the average Ijaw man own an oil well in the Niger Delta instead-of the Ibos or Yorubas ati Fulanis? —Yet Buhari allowed his Danjuma among other Emirs and Sultans and Obas own oil blocks————This is the type of government that the USA ati Britain imposed on us via via Obj ati Buhari—a— misguided boko haramic monster. Let my people go ojare!

    • Burbank

      Is Nnamdi Kanu still caged in my zoo?
      Offer him some bananas.

  • Burbank

    Bravo to Premium Times
    That the media highlighted this case highlighted the important role of the media in Nigeria’s war against corruption.
    Incompetence by the invesitigating authorities in Nigeria, for on-going corruption cases globally involving Nigeria, cannot be excused.
    The EFCC must ensure that Nigeria will not lose out to these fraudsters and their cunning defense counsels, to continue to steal the money, by any means necessary.

    Bravo too to the Global Witness, for pursuing the cases with sheer tenacity, not easily sustained by any organization.

  • duduosun

    @Timurlame:disqus

    Let me be clear, it is irresponsible of President Buhari
    to be so careless, not to say reckless, as to be absent in court on this case.
    No good government fails to act when one billion dollars of its assets are stolen.
    The Nigerian government is the only one in the world that has recorded this failure.
    A criminal proceeding does not bar the real victim from being heard in court in England.
    President Buhari has no sensible explanation to give Nigerians for being so slovenly remiss.
    Keeping quiet on this first obvious point would make Premium Times look very un-professional.

    • Höly Wähala

      …and we have a Law Professor as VP to a former military man, spare tyre indeed. Mtchewwww!

      • omoodua

        @disqus_CmTqWyMjJb:disqus

        My brother, OSHINBAJO is just running errands there O! Somebody told us here before
        that Oshinbajo is not and has never been a man of ideas. We can all see the truth now.
        Even Femi Fani-Kayode wrote yesterday in VANGUARD that BOLA TINUBU feels duped.
        He wrote that Bola Tinubu is saying he’s been used as a foot-mat by Hausa/Fulani people.
        But is that not obituary after burial? It was not a bad thing to remove Goodluck Jonathan.
        But it’s quite a daft thing to replace him with an un-educated bigot like Muhammadu Buhari.
        Tinubu should have had common sense weren’t he angling for himself as a Vice President.

        • Höly Wähala

          I agree, he should have angled for Fayemi who has more international clout than Osinbajo who was a mere pastor and a lettered lawyer… I dey vex, my broda! What’s the title of that Falana article on Vanguard make I go read’m see with ma eyeballs how Falana hammer Vagabond of Eko?

      • B. Messi

        Ahn ahn?
        SHUT UP THERE YOU WAILER!

    • Burbank

      “Incompetence by the investigating authorities in Nigeria, for on-going
      corruption cases globally involving Nigeria, cannot be excused.”

      The war against corruption, that had deny proper lights and running water, to you and me, is not a fight by Buhari alone.

      Buhari will ensure incompetence in his administration is elimiated; not encouraged, like under GEJ.

  • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

    Buhari Destroyed Nigeria In 6 Months – Alhaji Balarabe Musa.

    1] $1 is equal to N261 today in Parallel Market.
    2] Nigeria dropped from No 1 Investment destination to 7th in Africa.
    3] Price of a Bag of rice jumped from N8,000 to N13,000.
    4] 1,293,000 Nigerian lost their jobs in 5 months.
    5] About N1trn paid out for Fuel subsidy and still no Fuel anywhere.
    6] N25billion a day payment for REMITA swept under the carpet.
    7] N5billion from Foreign reserved squandered.
    8] $4.3billion external loan received in few months.
    9] Billions of Naira spend on Salary bailout, yet workers and pensioners are still being owed [Used to thank those that sponsored Buhari’s campaign].
    10] Elections results now are written in Buhari’s office, those that opposes the fraud are treated as criminals. Kogi and Bayelsa can say better.
    11] Over N14billion spent in 5 months for President’s travel bills, yet not a single investor have looked at Nigerian side.
    12] Freedom of speech is now luxury as list of blogger, reporters and newspapers owners that will be jailed have been complied.

    It is a shame that the gains of Nigerian in 55 years is destroyed in just 6 Months. ‪#‎ChangeIndeed‬.

    -Are the oil wells which Abacha gave Danjuma as dash under investigation by any country in the world—–?Late Abacha gave two oil blocks to Danjuma and Etete-Sadly for theIjaw Nation only that of Etete an Ijaw man is in dispute-by the Fulanis and Ibos-Whereas that of Damjumah was sold by him to the Chinese and made more than 1 b dollars out of the deal–Now the Ibos decided to align with the Fulanis to take Etete to court but not that of Danjuma—-what a shame———what a country! Separation is the only answer——–with no attachment to any ethnic group in Niger

    • Höly Wähala

      Where did you read an Ibo name in all this report? Are the Igbos again the beneficiaries of Buhari’s Govt.?
      Leave my people out of your mental retardation Deri Orbuka, how many times do I have to tell you that? And, drop the bottle… your brain is floating on ogogoro so early in the day. Remember what I told you on SR 5yrs ago? That, “Dumbo’s first signature was the heist of $1bn Malabu settlement”…I am a prophet Deri, my Oracle is never wrong! Quit alcohol it’s damaging your fragile brains. Oloshi!

  • List of Nigerian thieves

    Oluesgun Obasanjo – He stole $25 billion from 1999-2007 ($16.4 from power sector alone)
    Ibrahim Babangida – He stole $15 billion from 1985-1993 ($12.4 billion from oil wind fall in 1990)
    Abdulsalam Abubakar – He stole $9 billion from 1998-99
    Sani Abacha – He stole $7 billion from 1993-1998
    Ahmed Bola Tinubu – He stole and continues to steal from Lagos State treasury since 1999 till date. It’s estimated that he has stolen $6 billion so far.
    TY Danjuma – He fraudulently got enriched through oil blocks from the Niger Delta worth $20 million in the 70s after the counter coup. Those oil blocks worth billions of dollars in today’s value.
    Sanusi Lamido Sanusi – He stole $1.2 billion as CBN Governor from 2008-2014.
    Bukola Saraki – Through his father, Olukola Saraki, their bank, Societe Generale and as a governor of Kwara State (2003-20111) he stole $1.1 billion
    Nasir El Rufai – Before he was made the FCT Minister, El Rufai was broke, homeless and was looking for loan to import taxis from the UK. After he was made the minister, he seized landed properties that belonged to Nigerians and resold them with huge profit. It’s estimated that he stole $1 billion from 2003-2007.
    Tunde Fashola – He is the poster boy of Tinubu. Boht of them looted Lagos dried and left it in debt of about N1 billion. Fashola, among other thing built his personal website for N78 million, drilled borehole for over N100 million per each and built a kilometre road for N1 billion. He stole $900 million from 2007-2015. He’ll soon be a minister to continue the looting.
    Chubike Rotimi Amaechi – From 2007 to 2015, he stole $700 million and $150 million from that money was used to sponsor Buhari and APC.
    Atiku Abubakar – When he as asked by our reporter how he made his money, he simply said “he was always at the right place at the right time.” Atiku is an astute businessman, but through shady deals, he stole $500 million from 1999-2007.
    James Ibori – He stole $150 million from 1999-2007 as governor of Delta State. He’s serving his term for money laundering in the UK.
    Amina Mohammed – This woman was the founder of Afri-Project Consortium (APC) that was in charge of all PTF Projects during Abacha’s regime. About $125 million was stolen from PTF accounts from 1994-1998. Buhari has just nominated the same woman as a minister to continue to stealing.

    • Burbank

      And GEJ for 6 years ignored them?

  • REDEEM

    LET BIAFRANS GO – DR JUNAID MOHAMMED.

    **they need Nigeria more than Nigeria needs them.
    Dr Junaid Mohammed, convener of the Coalition of Northern Politicians, Academics, Professionals and Businessmen, has called on Nigerians to allow Igbos to go, if they want to, saying that they need Nigeria more than Nigeria needs them.
    Speaking in an explosive interview with Sunday Sun, the Kano-based Russian-trained medical doctor turned politician, who described the Igbos as persons who could not be trusted with power and certain key positions in the country, however, said: “…I insist they should be heard and be allowed to secede, provided they are peaceful.” Excerpts:

    Looking at the dimension the agitation for the sovereign State of Biafra has taken, should Nigerians and Nigeria allow the Igbos go or not?
    Yes.
    My understanding is that in every society, people will have to be persuaded, to see the benefit of living together. But where that fails, I think people should be allowed to go their separate ways in peace. Now, this question should have been answered earlier, before the independence or even immediately after the Igbo coup of 1966.

    Directly, through their own actions, they organised a tribal coup in which political, business and even traditional leaders of other tribes, other than their own tribe were eliminated, leaving their own leaders intact. That shows who they are. However, I am one of those who believe that Nigeria is a very impor¬tant project not only for Nigerians, but to the entire black race. So it will be a disaster if black people cannot live together in peace. There was a consensus within the generality of Nigerians that Nigeria has to be saved, Nigeria has to be preserved and in doing so you have to use minimum violence. It has to be used through persuasion for those people who don’t understand the essence of our being together.