The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu on Wednesday, revealed that a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN, has a case to answer over the Settlement Agreement on Malabu Oil Block (OPL 25).
Magu who disclosed this in a statement issued by the Head of Media and Publicity of EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren on Wednesday, said the commission’s investigation has implicated Adoke in the matter of the implementation of the settlement and resolution of agreements on Oil Prospecting License OPL 245 and OPL214.
The statement added, “The commission’s investigation holds Adoke liable in the matter of the implementation of the settlement and resolution of agreements on Oil Prospecting License OPL 245 and OPL214 between Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd, belonging to former Petroleum Minister, Dan Etete and the federal government of Nigeria in 2010.”
Recall that former President Olusegun Obasanjo had revoked the OPL 245, which the late General Sani Abacha granted to Etete, who was his Petroleum Minister and reassigned it Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company.
Etete’s Malabu Oil and Gas, however, reclaimed the oil block in 2006 through the court. While Shell challenged the decision, a fraudulent settlement and resolution was perfected under former President Goodluck Jonathan’s government with Shell and Eni buying the oil block from Malabu in the sum of $1.1billion.
According to Magu, EFCC’s investigations however revealed crimes that border on conspiracy, forgery of bank documents, bribery, corruption and money laundering to the tune of over $1.2 billon against Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd, Shell Nigeria Ultra deep (SNUD) Nigeria Agip Exploration (NAE) and their officials. Some of those officials are already facing criminal trials in Switzerland and Italy.
“The investigations further revealed that Etete and others fraudulently received an aggregate sum of US$ 801,540,000 (Eight Hundred Million, Five Hundred and Forty Thousand United States Dollars) from Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company, Nigeria Agip Exploration Ltd and ENI SPA in relation to the oil prospecting license.
“Adoke as the then Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice allegedly abused his office in respect of the granting of the oil prospecting license OPL 245 to Shell and ENI.
“A prima facie case, bordering on official corruption was established by the Commission following the investigations, culminating in court charges against Adoke, Etete and others, which is still pending before the FCT High Court and the Federal High Court.”
He advised Adoke to return home for trial.
“The arraignment of Adoke SAN, Etete and others could not take place because they along with other defendants have remained at large, refusing to make themselves available for trial.
“The former chief law officer of the federation prefers to remain in self-exile, and engage the Commission in needless media war,” he added.