Malabu Oil Deal: I Have Been Cleared By Reps, Adoke Tells UK group
Contrary to the public knowledge that the House of Representatives committee, which investigated the transaction involving the federal government and Shell/Agip companies on Malabu Oil and Gas in respect of the sale of oil block OPL 245 just submitted its report to the House last week Tuesday, the attorney-general of the federation (AGF) and minister of justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), has told an anti-corruption group in the United Kingdom (UK), Global Witness, that as far back as May 20, 2013, he has been vindicated by the House of Reps.
Investigation revealed that the anti-graft group had on May 1, 2013, written the minister of finance and the coordinating minister for the economy, Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, demanding an immediate action to recover the controversial $215 million assets being disputed by EVP and Malabu.
Okonjo-Iweala in her reply dated May 19, 2013, sent Adoke a copy, which warranted his (Adoke’s) response to the anti-corruption group in a letter dated May 20, 2013, and addressed to Somin Taylor, Global Witness, 5th floor, Buchanan House, 30 Holborn, London ECIN 2HS, United Kingdom.
In the said letter entitled “Re: Matters arising from the sale of OPL 245 oil concession: Request for immediate action to recover the $215million of assets being disputed by EVP and Malabu and that are currently frozen in the UK high court”, the AGF claimed that the House of Reps’ probe committee was satisfied with the transaction and there was no infraction on the constitution or any other Nigerian law.
In the said letter, Adoke claimed that the transaction in question was transparent in every material particular and that it did not violate the constitution and/or any applicable extant laws in Nigeria.
Adoke said, “I also wish to draw your attention to the fact that the signature bonus, which the transaction attracted, was duly paid to the Federal Government of Nigeria in accordance with the law.
“In view of the foregoing, I wish to reiterate that the settlement relating to OPL 245 did not breach the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and/or any extant law. The transaction was completely transparent and received the approval of relevant authorities and persons.
“You may wish to note that the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria had instituted a probe into the transaction and, at the end, they were satisfied that there was no infraction on the constitution or any other Nigerian law.
“While I thank you for the concern shown in respect of the transaction, I wish to state that since the OPL 245 resolution agreement did not breach the constitution or any extant law and was approved by all relevant authorities and persons, I am therefore unable to justify the call for investigation of the officials of the Ministry of Finance or indeed any other person or authority.”
The letter added: “Let me reiterate for the avoidance of doubt that Nigeria Agip/Shell had transferred the sum of $1,092,040,000 to J.P. Morgan under a depository agreement between the Federal Government of Nigeria and J.P. Morgan pursuant to block 245 resolution agreement dated 29th April 2011. Under the said agreement, the sum of $1,092,040,000 was to be paid to Malabu Oil and Gas limited (Malabu) by J.P. Morgan on the instructions of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”
Finding however reveals that the House of Representatives is yet to debate upon the report which was only submitted last Tuesday by the ad-hoc committee set up to probe the matter.
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