$1.09 billion Malabu oil deal: Reps, Adoke in war of words

Published:8 Dec, 2012

Members of the House of Representatives and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr. Mohammed Adoke, on Friday exchanged hot words over the controversial transfer of an oil well, OPL 245, to Shell/Agip Nigeria Limited by the Federal Government in 2011.

The lucrative oil well was originally allocated to Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, an indigenous firm incorporated in 1998.

But, in a deal facilitated by the FG, the two multi-national oil firms paid off Malabu and effectively took over control of 100 per cent holding of OPL 245.

A former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Chief Dan Etete, was a major stakeholder in Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd.

The House had empanelled an ad hoc committee to investigate the transaction over suspicions that the exercise breached extant offshore exploration policy of encouraging indigenous participation in the oil industry.

There were allegations that it was Adoke and the Minister of State for Finance, Mr. Mohammed Ngama, who authorised the payment of funds from FG account to seal the deal.

However, as Adoke appeared before the panel headed by Mr. Leo Ogor on Friday, facts emerged that Mohammed, son of the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, had also laid claim to 70 per cent equity holding in Malabu Oil and Gas.

Adoke, who denied authorising any payment in connection with the deal, told the committee that the FG merely played an intervention role in a bid to resolve a long-standing dispute between Malabu, its technical partners, SNUD, and other interests laying claim to the oil well.

He explained that for over 12 years, the dispute had incurred several court litigations, revocation and re-allocation of OPL 245 before the $1.09bn deal was struck, an outcome of the agreement entered into by the parties.

But, as members fired a barrage of questions at Adoke, probing into his alleged role in the deal, the AGF flared up, saying that he was not a “crook and will never support crooks.”

He took exception to the line of questioning by a particular lawmaker, Mr. John Dyegh.

Adoke replied, “I know where that question is coming from. I am not a crook and I will never support crooks.

“I am being maligned by people who are the architects of the ruins of this country.”

It turned out at the hearing that the Abachas, through their consultants, had petitioned the government over the OPL 245 deal, accusing Etete of allegedly “forging” names of members of the board of Malabu to sideline Mohammed in the $1.09bn deal with Shell/Agip.

But, according to the AGF, who described the Abachas as “latter day claimants,” their petition reportedly came after the deal had been finalised and became “irreversible.”

“This Malabu deal was on for 12 years; in all those years, nobody came up with a petition,” he stated.

He admitted meeting with the representatives of the Abachas when they came up with their petition, but he said he advised them to resolve whatever differences there might be internally within Malabu, as the transaction could no longer be reversed.

Adoke spoke more on how the FG got involved in the transaction, “To resolve all the contending claims in a satisfactory and holistic manner, due regard was given to the terms of settlement of Nov. 30, 2006, which had been reduced to orders of the court, the underlying policy of encouraging the participation of indigenous oil and gas companies in the upstream sector of the oil industry and the fact that Shell had substantially de-risked Bloc 245.

“To accommodate all these interests, a Resolution Agreement dated April 29, 2011 was executed wherein the FGN agreed to resolve all the issues with Malabu in respect of Bloc 245 amicably and Malabu also agreed that it would settle and waive any and all claims to any interest in OPL 245.

“In furtherance of the Resolution Agreement, SNUD and ENI agreed to pay Malabu through the FG acting as an obligor, the sum of US$ 1,092,040,000bn in full and final settlement of any and all claims, interests or rights relating to or in connection with Bloc 245 and Malabu agreed to settle and waive any and all claims, interests or rights relating to or in connection with Bloc 245 and also consented to the re-allocation of Bloc 245 to Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited.

“It is, therefore, quite evident from the foregoing that the role played by the FG, its agencies and officials in relation to Bloc 245 was essentially that of facilitator of the resolution of a long standing dispute between Malabu and SNUD over the ownership and right to operate Bloc 245.”

However, the committee noted that the transaction, no matter how well-intentioned, breached the existing legal framework in the country in which a foreign oil firm cannot hold more than 40 per cent share of any of oil well.

Members observed that the deal simply handed over 100 per cent of the control of OPL 245 to Shell and Agip, sharing 50 per cent apiece.

Commenting further, Ogor said, “We will not sit here to allow two oil majors to share our lucrative Bloc 245; we will never allow it.

“We will look at the draft of that agreement; we will re-draft it because we have a duty to protect our indigenous policy of participation in the oil and gas industry.

“It has never happened before that oil majors got more than 40 per cent share in any oil bloc.”

But, another member of the committee, Mr. Victor Ogene, stated that a key issue that must not be lost to Nigerians was how a “sitting minister (Etete) and the son of a sitting head of state (Abacha)” were allocated an oil bloc in the first place.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is conducting a separate investigation into the deal.

Ogor said on Friday that the panel would await the outcome of the EFCC investigation to assist the lawmakers in establishing what went wrong.

via Punch

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Bayelsa Speaker Bows To Pressure, Swears In Opposition Lawmakers

At last, the Speaker, Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Mr. Kombowei Benson, on Thursday, bowed to pressure and swore in the three opposition lawmakers after about four months in limbo. The three lawmakers inaugurated at the hallowed chamber of the House are Watson Belemote of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, representing Brass Constituency 2; Gibson Munalayefa of the Labour Party for Ogbia Constituency 2 and Gabriel Ogbara of African Democratic Congress for Ogbia Constituency 3. At last, the Speaker, Bayelsa State...

NYSC To Deploy Doctors, Pharmacists, Nurses To IDP Camps Nationwide – DG

The National Youth Service Corps is to deploy medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other medical professionals to Internally Displaced Persons camps nationwide. The Director General of NYSC, Brig-Gen. Sule Kazaure, made this known on Thursday while flagging-off the NYSC intervention programme at Damare IDPs camp in Yola. Kazaure said the deployment of NYSC in the camps was part of the scheme’s contribution to government’s efforts in assisting the IDPs. “This programme, which is designed to bring succour to the inmates in this...

Abacha Loot: World Bank Asks For More Time

The World Bank Access to Information Committee has asked for more time to decide on a request by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Lagos, on how the recovered Abacha loot was spent.   Mr Olukayode Majekodunmi, the Deputy Director of SERAP, said in a statement on Thursday that the World bank had requested for additional time to respond to SERAP'S request.   The statement said SERAP received a letter dated April 27 form the World Bank requesting for additional time on...

Saraki Loses Again At CCT

The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) sitting in Abuja has thrown out an application filed by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, asking the chairman of the tribunal, Danladi Umar, to disqualify himself from his ongoing 13-count corruption trial. According to Umar, Saraki’s application lacked merit. “The tribunal holds that the application of counsel to the accused lacks merit and is hereby dismissed in its entirety,” Mr. Umar held. More to follow…

AFRIMA Mourns Papa Wemba

The International Committee of the All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, in partnership with the African Union Commission, AU, mourns the death of Papa Wemba, real name Jules Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba. The iconic musician from the Democratic Republic of Congo died in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, during the FEMUA urban music festival on Sunday April 24, 2016. He was 66. Papa Wemba was considered an African icon and world music star...

Five Killed, Over 13,000 Left Homeless By Floods In Eastern Tanzania

Tanzania authorities on Thursday said ongoing heavy rains and floods have killed five people and left over 13,000 others homeless in Tanzania's eastern region of Morogoro. It said that the killing of the five people by the raging floods brought to 13 the total numbers of people killed by the deluge in a space of one week. It added that eight others were killed in the east of Kilimanjaro, leaving hundreds of others homeless. The Morogoro regional commissioner, Kebwe Steven Kebwe, said...

Dokpesi’s Trial Stalled Over Absence Of Prosecution Counsel

The trial of Raymond Dokpesi, the chairman of DAAR Communications Plc, owners of Ray Power and AIT, was today stalled following the absence of the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs. It would be recalled that Dokpesi is standing trial at a Federal High Court in Abuja on a six-count charge of fraud after being accused of illegally receiving N2.1 billion from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki. The money was originally meant for purchase of...

Workers’ Day: FG Declares Monday Public Holiday

The Federal Government has declared Monday, May 2 as public holiday to commemorate the 2016 Workers’ Day Celebration. Retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, Minister of Interior, made the declaration in a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr Bassey Akpanyung on Thursday in Abuja. The minister congratulated Nigerian Workers for their resilience, hard work and commitment to the change mantra of President Muhammadu Buhari despite current challenges. He enjoined them to continue to support the President in his desire to...

Tourism, Culture Will Soon Be Bedrock Of Nigeria’s Economy – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari, Thursday, disclosed that Tourism and Culture which had been neglected in the past would soon be the bedrock of Nigeria’s economy. To this end, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed challenged the rural dwellers, who were blessed with rich country’s cultural heritages and tourist sites to live up to the responsibility of managing and protecting the sites for economic purposes. Buhari, who declared the 2016 National Summit on Culture and Tourism...

Cristiano Ronaldo Will Undergo Stem Cell Treatment To Be Fit For Manchester City In Second-Leg Champions League Clash

Cristiano Ronaldo will have stem cell treatment in a bid to rush the Real Madrid star back from a hamstring tear in time to face Manchester City on Wednesday. Real welcome City to the Santiago Bernabeu in their Champions League semi-final second leg next week with the score locked at 0-0. Having seen their star man miss the first leg on Tuesday, the Spanish giants are determined to race Ronaldo back in a bid to find the route...

India Launches 7th Navigational Satellite Into Orbit

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Thursday put its seventh satellite India Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS)-1G into the orbit, officials said. ``April 28, 2016: PSLV-C33 successfully launches IRNSS-1G, a message displayed on the website of ISRO, reads. ``The satellite was put into orbit using indigenous polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) at around 12:50 p.m. (local time),’’ officials said. It said that the 1,425 kilogramme satellite was ejected by the launch vehicle around 20 minutes after takeoff. ``Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated...

DR Congo, Uganda Launch Demarcation Of Their Common Border

Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) and Uganda on Thursday, launched a joint demarcation of their common border in the eastern part of DR Congo. Several leaders from both countries, accompanied by experts of the joint demarcation commission, were taking part in the bipartisan exercise whose objective was to end persistent conflicts between Uganda and DR Congo. Head of the DR Congo delegation Jean-Pierre Masala expressed the desire to see discussions held in good conditions because, according to him, a border...

Ambode Names Dolphin Park After Late Tunji Braithwaite

Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Wednesday named Dolphin Park after the late Dr Tunji Braithwaite, in recognition of his contributions to the political development of Nigeria. Ambode, who was represented by his deputy, Dr Idiat Adebule, made this known at a special service of songs organised by the Braithwaite family in Lagos. He said that Braithwaite's struggle for the emancipation of Nigerians and his daily agitation for improved living condition for the masses was commendable. "The late Dr Braithwaite gave...

Ending Attacks On Communities By Herdsmen A National Priority – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Abuja condemned the reported attacks by suspected herdsmen on some communities across the country. A statement issued in Abuja by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said the President particularly condemned Monday's attack on Ukpabi Nimbo in Enugu State The President assured all Nigerians of his administration's continued commitment to ensuring the safety of lives and property in all parts of the country. ``President Buhari unreservedly condemns the attack on...

Russia Delivers Humanitarian Aid To Syria

Col. Igor Borodin, a Representative of a Russian Humanitarian Centre in Syria, said Russia has sent 2.5 tons of humanitarian aid including 700 kg of bread to Homs province in Syria. He confirmed on Thursday in Moscow that the Russian military brought bread, canned fish, meat, sugar, flour and cereal to the village of Ein Al-Dananir. Borodin said the Russian military doctors are also providing medical treatment to villagers in need. The representative added that Russian negotiators have also been busy working...

Oby Ezekwesili Shares Beautiful Throwback Photos As She Celebrates Her Birthday

Former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, shared these throwback photos of herself on her twitter handle to celebrate her 53rd birthday today. The photos were taken when she was in her mid-20s. She is seen above carrying her last son at his baptismal service.  Happy Birthday to her.

Saraki’s Aide Refuses Food From DSS

The family of the Senior Special Assistant to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki on Youth and Students Matters, Barr. Ikenga Ugochinyere, has said the Barrister has refused to eat in the last 3 days he has been in detention. According to them he has not accepted any food or drink from them. In a press conference organized by his brother yesterday, he disclosed that they have also not allowed them to give him food or water, a situation he said...

Nick Gordon Reveals Bobbi Kristina Suffered A Couple Of Miscarriages Before Her Death

Nick Gordon has revealed Bobbi Kristina Brown suffered a "couple of miscarriages" before her death. The 25-year-old star says he and the aspiring actress - who tragically died in July 2015, nearly six months after she was found unresponsive in a bathtub - were keen to start a family but "weren't planning on it yet". He said: "We had a couple of miscarriages. We would have loved to have a kid but we weren't planning on it yet...

Fuel Scarcity: Depot Owners Dump PPPRA’s Pricing Template

Depot owners appear to have jettisoned the pricing template of Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, thereby sabotaging efforts of Federal Government to end the lingering fuel crisis. Vanguard learned that depot owners, especially those used by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, for throughput arrangement, jettisoned the current PPPRA pricing template for petroleum products released on April 1, and, instead, have been using the pricing template for the first quarter of the year. For example, the present...

“Police Requested For Bribe To Rescue Ekiti Doctors”, Survivor Debunks Over Speeding

Dr. Ekundare Folu, Chairman of National Association of Government and General Medical and Dental Practitioners in Ekiti, has accused policemen of demanding N4,000 to move the corpses of the six doctors who died in a road accident. Ekiti State was thrown into mourning following the death of six doctors in a road accident which occurred on Sunday a few kilometres to Kaduna on their way to Sokoto for a free medical mission organised by the Nigerian Medical Association...

Family Dog Leads Firefighters To Trapped Children In Their Burning Home

Neighbours of an Orlando, Florida deputy saw flames and realized that her house was on fire at about 11pm on Monday, they quickly called 911 and rushed to help her, her husband, their two children. One of the neighbors, Mr Dover, was able to break through all the front windows of the home and rescue the Seminole County sheriff's deputy. Fortunately, Firefighters responded to the fire around 11:20 p.m. and were able to pull her husband from the home...