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 245).
According to Magu, Adoke has been offering the reading public in the account of his sojourn in governance a bouquet of half-truths and plain lies.
The EFCC boss also disclosed that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo did not discuss, counsel, or direct him in any way on any issue concerning Adoke.
He said after satisfying his long desire to titillate the public with some tales by moonlight, Adoke should make himself available for trial.
Magu made his position known in a statement through the Head of Media and Publicity of EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren.
He added that 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.
Magu said the probe of OPL 245 was not a witch-hunt in any form.
The statement added, “It is important for the public to know that the investigation of the lucrative Oil Prospecting License 245 Settlement deal, otherwise known as the Malabu Scandal, by EFCC was not an enterprise in witch-hunt or malice.
“The Magu-led leadership of the commission, in consideration of persistent public demand for closer scrutiny of the transaction, coupled with emerging information suggestive of opacity in the consummation of the deal, acted in national interest to determine that overall public good was not sacrificed on the altar of personal interest of those who perfected the deal.
“The investigation had been discreet, with no threat of direct physical harm to Adoke or any other person implicated in the deal.
“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.”
Magu further released the details of the investigations into Malabu Oil Block scandal.
“It could be recalled that former President Olusegun Obasanjo had revoked the OPL 245, which the late General Sani Abacha granted to Dan Etete, who was his Petroleum Minister and reassigned it to 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,” he added.
“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.”