The Observer: How Private jet, armoured cars were bought with Malabu deal ‘bribes’

Tens of millions of dollars was wired to buy a private jet and armoured cars in the US from the controversial $1.3 billion sale of OPL 245, the Sunday Observer of London has reported, quoting court documents.

In the deal struck in 2011, only $210 million of the sum went into government coffers as “signature bonus” — the rest was paid to Malabu Oil and Gas, mainly owned by Dan Etete, who, as petroleum minister in 1998, had awarded the lucrative licence to himself.

OPL 245 is a huge oil block offshore estimated to contain 9.3bn barrels of crude — enough to power the whole of Africa for seven years.

The sale to Malabu was nullified by President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999 and it was assigned to Shell without a public bid.

Ownership was suspiciously reverted to Malabu thereafter, leading to legal action by Shell who later resorted to negotiating directly with Etete after President Goodluck Jonathan assumed office in 2010.

A year later, the $1.3bn deal was struck, with Malabu getting $1.1 billion from Shell and Eni to its transfer ownership, while the signature bonus was paid to Nigeria.

Signature bonus is a one-time fee for the assignment and securing of a licence.

Money trail

A joint investigation by the Observer and journalists from Finance Uncovered, a non-profit organisation based in London, has called to question Britain’s commitment to tackling high-end money laundering through the City of London as evident in the Malabu deal.

A $800m bank transfer to Etete, convicted of money laundering in France in 2007, successful went through the system in what the British newspaper calls “proceeds from one of the most corrupt deals in the history of the oil industry”.

Prosecutors in Milan believe two payments of $400m each were wired through JP Morgan in London as the spoils of the deal.

The newspaper reported that “more than half the money was converted into bags of bribe cash via bureaux de change in Nigeria, while tens of millions was wired to buy a private jet and armoured cars in the US, according to documents compiled by the prosecutors”.

The astonishing allegations were made by an Italian prosecutor, Fabio de Pasquale, whose previous scalps include former Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi.

In Nigeria, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed charges against Shell and Eni, and attorney-general at the time of the deal, Mohammed Adoke.

Lil Wayne Owing $2 Million Private Jet Utility Bills

Report provides that Lil Wayne is obligated to pay one of his private jet utility bills of over $2 million!

Wayne lost a lawsuit from Signature Group, a company that leases private jets to the rich and famous. Signature went after Weezy for missing payments during the first 2 years of a 3 year deal with the company.

According to the suit, Wayne had more than $1 million on his tab as of July 2014. For his part, Wayne claimed he never signed a contract with Signature.

The court disagreed, and ruled in favor of Signature. Since it’s been a year since the suit was filed, the $1 million ballooned to $1.8 million. Wayne also has to pay $200,000 in attorney’s fees.


I Had A Private Jet Before Becoming A Governor – Rochas Okorocha

Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha says contrary to stories being peddled by the opposition in his state, he’d bought his private jet before becoming a governor, an indication that he did not use the state’s money to buy one. The governor said this after some politicians in the state asked him to sell his private jet and use the proceed to address unpaid salaries of civil servants in the state. Okorocha’s reaction is contained in a statement released by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, today August 27th. Read it below…

“As a government, we want to deny with high sense of honesty that since May 29, 2011 when Owelle Rochas Okorocha became governor, he has never bought any private Jet either directly or by proxy. Having made this denial let those behind the allegation make their facts public to fault our denial. “The period Governor Rochas Okorocha bought Jets
was years before he was elected, during the Olusegun Obasanjo regime when some of the presidential jets were auctioned. The governor bought jets then under the aegis of Lamonde Aviation, alongside few other Nigerians. Since he became governor, he has never bought any private Jet. Again, the Debit Management Agency penultimate week published the states and their respective debt profiles. And in the case of Imo State, they published N37 billion which was far from the hundreds of billions the opponents of the government have been claiming to be the debt status of the state. And the N37 billion debt include the ones owed by the previous administrations. The good story is that we have been vindicated on that.”the statement read.

Why My Jet Was Leased, By Ayo Oritsejafor

President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Pastor Ayo Oristejafor yesterday reiterated that he is not a party to the $9.3 million arms cash saga even though he owns the jet that ferried the money to South Africa earlier this month.

He also explained that he leased the jet in “order to ameliorate the cost of maintenance of the aircraft.”
Oritsejafor was speaking at an emergency meeting of the expanded National Executive Council (NEC) of CAN in Abuja, but his speech was emailed to reporters in Kaduna through the Secretary General of CAN, Reverend Musa Asake.