By Umar Muhammad Puma
The House of Representatives yesterday adopted the report of its ad hoc committee on Malabu Oil and Gas calling on the Federal Government to cancel Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL 245) belonging Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Ltd. (SNEPCO) and AGIP amidst opposition from some members.
In approving the recommendations, the House said “that the Federal Government should cancel OPL 245 recently granted to SNEPCO (50%) and AGIP (50%), as it was based on a highly flawed ‘Resolution agreement” entered between Malabu Oil and Gas, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) and Nigeria Agip Exploration (NAE) with the Federal Government acting as obligator”
The House reasoned that ‘the ‘resolution Agreement ceded away our national interest and further committed Nigeria to some unacceptable indemnities and liabilities while acting as obligator”
Other recommendations adopted include “that the Federal Government through the ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation facilitates a new Resolution Agreement in line with the Petroleum Act and Indigenous Concession Programme of Government that guided the initial allocation of OPL245 to Malabu Oil and Gas.
“That AGIP Nigeria Agip Exploration Ltd (NAE) be formally censured or reprimanded by the House for its role in the Resolution Agreement, which lacked transparency and did not meet international best business practices.
“That Shell Nigeria Ultra Deeps (SNUD) be censured or reprimanded by the House for its lack of transparency and full disclosure in its bid to acquire OPL 245; that Nigeria Police should take over the ongoing investigation on the matter of forgery and alteration of documents indicting some directors of Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd who resigned their positions or transferred their appointments or shares without authorization, and initiate prosecution of any person indicted
Trouble began yesterday when Hon. Simon Arabor (PDP, Kaduna) raised a constitutional point of order submitting that the House had usurped the jurisdiction of the courts in recommending that the contract agreement between Malabu Oil; SNEPCO and Nigeria Agip Exploration (NAE) with the Federal Government acting as obligator be cancelled.
Chairman of the House committee on justice, Hon. Ali Ahmad (APC, Kwara) maintained that Hon. Arabor’s observation was correct that the House cannot dabble into judicial matters. He said “if you look at the recommendations, you can make a general statement that the matter is judicious”