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Former ministers, politicians ‘shared’ $523m from Malabu deal

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New details have emerged that about $523 million was allegedly shared among former ministers and politicians including presidents, in the 2011 Malabu oil deal.

Quoting Italian Newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano, NAN reports that out of $523 million, one former minister spent $250 million on “real estate, aircraft and exotic cars”.

A former president was also accused of receiving about $200 million in the controversial oil deal.

The details are based on the September judgement of Emeka Obi, a Nigerian and Gianluca Di Nardo, an Italian, who received a our-year jail sentence for their role as negotiators in the sale of the controversial OPL 245.

The judge also ruled that some top officials of oil giants Eni and Shell had a case to answer for allegedly being part of the scandal.

It was alleged that $50 million would have been paid in cash as bribes to executives and directors at Eni in 2012.

“The OPL 245 affair began in 2011, when Eni and Shell seized the concession of a super-jam,” the report read.

“But the money, which can banally be considered a river of money, flows into the private accounts of the Malabu company, of which the former Nigerian oil minister Dan Etete is a hidden partner.

“Money that wanders between Lebanon and Switzerland until it returns to Nigeria, in the accounts of ministers and local politicians who pocket at least $523 million.

“For the judge, the $1.092 billion affair ‘seems of unprecedented gravity’ not only because of the ‘amount of money’ used to bribe the public officials of the African country but also because the Nigerian state has been robbed of one of its most valuable assets.

“The Nigerian government ‘merely acts as a ‘shield’ and ‘guarantor’ in a negotiating operation that in essence serves only to conceal the sale of the licence on the oil block from Etete to Eni and Shell.

“Malabu, according to the prosecution, was the company’s vehicle for sending bribes to Nigerian politicians.”

Apart from Shell and Eni,  other key players named in the OPL 245 deal are former Presidents Goodluck Jonathan and Olusegun Obasanjo; Sani Abacha, former head of state; Dan Etete, his minister of petroleum resources; Mohammed Abacha, son of the former head of state; Hassan Hindu, wife of Hassan Adamu, the Wakili Adamawa and one time Nigeria’s ambassador to the United States,  Mohammed Adoke, minister of justice under Jonathan, and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

The federal government last week filed a $1.1 billion lawsuit against Shell, Eni and other companies involved in the malabu deal.

The oil block which was sold for $1.3 billion to Shell and Eni in 2011 has never entered into production, with analysts estimating that Nigeria has lost about $6 billion to the controversial deal.

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