Malabu Scandal: While two ex-Nigerian ministers remain in hiding, UK returns $85 million to Nigeria

Dan Etete and former attorney general, Mohammed Adoke.

On the day the anti-graft agency, EFCC, expressed its frustrations in locating two ex-Nigerian ministers on trial for their alleged roles in the Malabu scandal, the federal government announced that UK authorities returned $85 million (about N30 billion) to Nigeria.

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 block, OPL 245, one of the juiciest oil blocks in Africa, estimated to contain about 9.23 billion barrels of crude oil.

Mr. Etete awarded the oil block 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.

After the oil giants paid the $1.1 billion into a Nigerian govt account in the UK in 2011, Mr. Adoke, the then attorney general of the federation, authorised the transfer of the money Mr. Etete’s accounts in Nigeria.

However, applications by persons who claimed to be middlemen in the deal meant only about $801 million of the money could be transferred to Mr. Etete’s account.

Messrs. Adoke and Etete are both being prosecuted by the EFCC for their roles in the scandal. The two oil giants and some of their officials also face prosecution for their roles both in Nigeria and Italy.

The current attorney general, Abubakar Malami confirmed in Abuja on Thursday that the $85 million had been returned to the Nigerian government.
Details later…


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  • forestgee

    Very good news…waiting for full recovery of all looted funds and also recovery from Maina. We hope this government will give transparent account of all looted funds

    • Alex

      You’re being takling for a ride.this government is just sweeten us up with so and so recovered loots.

      • Powerlessconscious

        Shut up and go back to your Hospital.

        • Alex

          You’re nothing but a deranged criminal like your Masters in positions of powers in Nigeria.

  • utolason

    What a co-incidence that the release of this money is being announced now! Even so, who the money relates to or from who it was recovered is not disclosed. So I am not moved by this news because I see it as a deliberate attempt to bury Maina saga.

    • Someone

      yes its meant to bury the maina saga and make malami look like he’s competent. they would have known about this money for a long time and only release it because of the saga.

      like another said, to sweeten everyone.

  • olusina olayiwola-ojetunde

    We have only the word of Malami on this, he has spoken plenty of Lies before.

    • thisnigeria

      And is Malami supposed to be talking on behalf of this government anymore if this is not a government of corrupt people?

  • obiora

    So Uk is still part of the Evil with Criminal Tyrant. No amount of Help can clean Buhari. Or are we seeing Shame here from UK. They paint him white and push him to Aso Old people´s Home. Now the Anus of the Tyrant is open and people can see Old and New shit. Buhari must GO. UK tell your Freind Criminal Tyrant to GO. How can a good person come out of a Crooked Tribe like Fulani.? What of Oshi-Mbaji, Alaye Mohamed and Thiefnubu. The game is over. APC Evil group of People.

    • Bola

      Sir, what has Buhari got to do with the scandal update above?

  • Alex

    the medias shouldn’t allowed themselves to be used to launder the imsge of this government saying they recovered this trillions or billions because,this government is as corrupt as the last one.

    • FirecloudOFGOD

      They are adding hypocrisy and a false image of ‘Holier than though’!

      • newvoice404

        So its now ,’Holier than though’! Its not that they are not fighting corruption again? Why cant your PDP/GEJ/IPOB recovery a cent from the looted money? even if they would share it and let others come to probe them for the ones they shared? Yeye man, you are so much a disgrace to Africans. Shame again

    • Powerlessconscious

      You can jump into lagoon. Pdp education is a SIN.


    The question is : Is the money better left with the looters, or returned to this administration’s secret sinking fraudulent hole?

    • FirecloudOFGOD

      Beautiful and highly relevant question!

      • newvoice404

        I pity your sham less irrelevancy to life .Corruption, hatred and lies run in all your veins

  • Odi Ohiha


    Chief Dan Etete: A useless elder without any sense of shame

    No sense of shame is left in Nigeria.
    Dan Etete, the former Minister of Petroleum is likely running away through a
    bush path out of Nigeria at the age of 75. Wow! What will his grandchildren
    think of Dan Etete as a fugitive from justice at the age of 75? What does the
    un-thinking and shameless man want to do with $250, 000 at age of 75? What kind
    of life is that? Do Dan Etete’s children pray to end up at the age of 75 the way Dan
    Etete has ended up as a fugitive from justice today? If his children are ashamed of
    him today, then, what is the value of $250,000 that has brought permanent shame
    and disgrace to the ETETE FAMILY? To be frank, Dan Etete is not the worst rogue
    in his 70s. A good number of his age mates in Nigeria have also lost their senses
    to the love of money.

  • FirecloudOFGOD

    APC government is sinking as rapidly as lead!
    I have never, in my adult life and wide travels, seen a government betray its people and lost credibility and trust as this Buhari and Tinubu’s APC government has. No amount of whitewashing can take away the

    • FineBoy

      Malabu na Buhari or PDP sharing?

    • Powerlessconscious

      Which people? Are you talking of criminals breeded by pdp in their16years of wastage? E.g Election thugs, garage thugs, street thugs, Arm Robber, Cultism, Hire Killers, Militant, Ritualist, Biafraud Bokoharam and above all Bribery And MASSIVE LOOTERS etc. Those are the set of people pdp created in their 16years of govt before power changed hand.
      But you complained that Nigerian govt APC betray this CRIMIMALS. That is SATIRICAL.

    • newvoice404

      Obviously you are still part of PDP/ipob-igbo very evil, very bitter and corrupt cabal that hates the war Buhari is waging slowly but surely in recovering monies looted by you people back to Nigeria. You really need your head examined. Shame

  • Lanre

    Once again Premium Times. Great Job.

  • Kenny

    Thumbs up PT! You are going the extra mile in investigative journalism. The rest are just goofing and gaffing! !

  • Ishaku isaac

    With $85million in hand let Adeosun publish the total of all the recovered loots to see if we still need a foreign loan?!

  • Rev

    And that will itself find it’s way into the pockets of the secret cabals running the Buhari government.

    • newvoice404

      Its not that they are not fighting corruption again? Why cant your PDP/GEJ/IPOB recovery a cent from the looted money? even if they would share it and let others come to probe them for the ones they shared?

      • Rev

        At this point I am convinced that you are deluding yourself. Because you never find anywhere i support PDP or IPOB…or even jonathan. I don’t care about these people. I have never met them a day of my life. What matters is giving the poor people of Nigeria, regardless of tribe or tongue, a fair chance to attain their expectations by creating an environment where that reality is a possibility in the first place. Instead of allowing the opportunities of nationhood to be accessible to only a select few…And on the basis of clandestine occultism and tribal cleavage.