Mr. Etete claims the former Bayelsa Justice Commissioner defrauded him off $3 million.
A former Nigerian Minister of Petroleum, Dan Etete, on Wednesday threatened to drag a former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Bayelsa State, Anthony Ikoli, before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for defrauding him of $3 million (N510 million).
Mr. Etete accused Mr. Okoli of collecting the money from him to purchase 40 buses for the former minister’s foundation, Dan Etete Foundation. Mr. Okoli was the justice commissioner in the Timipriye Sylva administration.
Mr. Etete, a principal character in the Malabu OPL 245 fraud, said the buses, which were part of his empowerment plan for youth in Rivers, Bayelsa, and Delta states, were supplied but were of inferior standard.
The ex-minister, represented by his brother and coordinator of the Dan Etete Foundation, Kojo Etete, told journalists on Wednesday in Yenagoa, that the supplied vehicles were dangerous to the intended beneficiaries of the proposed empowerment plan.
According to Mr. Etete, rather than honour the agreement, Mr. Ikoli purchased 40 low quality Jin Bei buses from China. He said the purchased buses do not have after sales maintenance agreement and spare parts in Nigeria.
“We are giving him a seven-day ultimatum to withdraw these vehicles and provide quality buses or return the money otherwise we will petition him to the Nigeria Bar Association and the EFCC,” he said.
The minister said though the disciplinary committee of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, had been notified, the foundation decided to inform the Bayelsa State Government.
“It is worthwhile to let Bayelsans know the truth about the buses so that they will not blame the foundation in case of any future road mishaps involving the buses,” Mr. Etete said.
Efforts to reach Mr. Ikoli for his reaction were unsuccessful as he did not respond to calls or text messages sent to him.
History of fraud
Mr. Etete, the accuser, has a history of involvement in fraudulent activities.
He was convicted of money laundering in France, and the judgement upheld by the superior court of the country.
The former minister is currently being investigated by the EFCC for his role in Malabu OPL 245 fraud.
In previous investigations, PREMIUM TIMES had written on how Mr. Etete, ad petroleum minister in 1998, created a fictional character, Kwekwu Amafegha, and made him a shareholder in a dubious company, Malabu oil and gas, contrary to Nigerian laws.
The minister then allocated OPL 245, one of Nigeria’s most lucrative oil blocks, to the company.
Subsequent investigations had shown how the oil block changed hands at different times and how company records were forged, allegedly at Mr. Etete’s insistence, to ensure that the former minister and his cronies retained the oil bloc.
The oil bloc was then controversially sold to Shell and Agip for about $1.1 billion, a deal which the House of Representatives has ordered cancelled.