House re-opens Malabu oil deal scam, indicts NNPC, Adoke
An ad-hoc Committee of the House of Representatives probing alleged shady deals involving OPL 245 has accused the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), AA Oil and Gas and Malabu Oil of culpability.
The Reps also pointed accusing fingers at former Attorney- General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke( SAN), and his counterpart in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison- Madueke, alleging that they “contrived a series of complex agreements of questionable nature.”
Chairman of the committee, Razak Atunwa (APC, Kwara) who spoke Wednesday at the National Assembly of alleged corruption, malpractices and breach of due process in the award of the oil bloc vowed that his panel will get to the root of the matter.
He said: “The summary of the agreement was that Shell and Nigeria Agip Exploration ( NAE) paid $1.1 bn to the Federal Government for the oil block. Rather than putting the money into the federation Account as required by the constitution, Mr. Adoke SAN and Mrs. Allison- Madueke then caused the money to be transferred to Malabu which then spirited the money to various foreign bank accounts.
“In this regard, it is alleged that companies such as AA OIl Ltd were engaged to launder the funds. OPL 245 is a potentially highly lucrative oil block encompassing a massive area of about 1,958 square kilometres and is estimated to hold up to 9.2 barrels of crude oil.
“The Nigerian people deserve to know what happened to their $1.1 billion. At today’s exchange rate, that is over N500 billion. That amount can fund the entire budget of the Ministry of Education. It is double the entire budget of the Ministry of Health. It is more than the Capital expenditure of Works Power and Housing.”
Though 7th House of Representatives had attempted to investigate the matter, the current assembly by a resolution on January 27, 2016 mandated the committee to re-open the investigation with a view to get to the bottom of the matter.
Members of the committee were unhappy that some of the invited parties shunned the meeting without any written excuse or representation or out rightly contested the probe. Shell Petroleum Company in a letter written by its lawyer, Richard Akinjide (SAN) said the House lacked the power to investigate the matter.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the other hand told the committee that the Commission had no brief on the matter.
Atunwa however vowed that his committee will get to the end of the matter “no matter whose feathers are ruffled.” According to him, the NNPC, AA Oil and Malabu oil “have something to hide” by refusing to attend the investigative session.ORDERPAPER.NG