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Published On: Fri, Oct 27th, 2017

$1.3bn Malabu oil deal: FG recovers $85m from UK

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By Ese Awhotu

The Federal Government has recorded another success in its looted funds recovery drive.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, yesterday disclosed that the Federal Government has recovered $85million from the United Kingdom as part of the stolen funds from the Malabu Oil deal.
Malami made the disclosure during a consultative meeting on assets recovery in Abuja.
He reiterated government’s determination to recover more looted funds, following several treaties which it has signed to facilitate the return of stolen assets.
The minister, however, lamented the non-compliance attitude of some countries that are still holding on to stolen assets from Nigeria.
He noted that despite several treaties signed with the Federal Government to facilitate the return of loot, the countries refused to honour the treaties.
Recall that $1.3 billion was paid to Malabu Oil and Gas for the procurement of one of Nigeria’s richest oil fields, OPL 245 by Shell and Eni.
The deal was however, shrouded in secrecy and the funds were said to have been used to bribe Nigerian politicians and intermediaries who assisted in securing the deal.
The deal considered as one of the most corrupt in the continent is being probed in Nigeria, Italy and Netherlands.
.Former Petroleum Minister, Dan Etete, who was appointed by late Nigerian military Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, was said to have acquired “OPL 245” through his company, Malabu Oil and Gas Limited while in office in 1998.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was reported to have said that Nigeria was still suffering from grave consequences as a result of the Malabu oil deal.
Osinbajo cited lack of transparency as the bane of the deal which he said Nigeria was still grappling with the negative consequences.
The vice president, who spoke at conference organized by the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), in Jakarta, Indonesia this week, lamented the involvement of senior government officials in the deal.

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