Nigeria to receive $200 mln part of Malabu oil deal from two countries ~ AGF
The government of Netherlands and Switzerland may repatriate about $200 million as part of the controversial Malabu OPL 245 Oil deal to the country in a matter of months, the country’s minister of justice has said.
Abubakar Malami, Minister of Justice who gave the hint in Abuja, however, did not reveal the detail of the process that leads to the planned repatriation of the $200 million from part of the recovery from the $1.1 billion oil deal from the two countries.
Shell and Eni jointly acquired the rights to OPL 245, a Nigerian offshore oil block, for about $1.3bn but the deal had spawned legal cases spanning several countries.
Last month, the Federal Government has tracked down and grounded a luxury private jet which is owned by the country’s former Petroleum Minister, Dan Etete, over his alleged involvement in the $1.1 billion Malabu oil scam. The luxury private jet was alleged to have been purchased with proceeds from that oil deal.
This seizure was confirmed by the legal counsel to Nigeria, Babatunde Olabode Johnson, who was appointed by the Nigerian government in 2016 to recover assets from the OPL 245 deal.
Two weeks ago, a prosecutor in Milan asked for eight years of jail time for Eni SpA Chief Executive Officer Claudio Descalzi over an allegedly corrupt in the $1.1 billion Malabu oil deal.
The court should reach a conclusion later this year on the accusation that most of that payment was distributed as bribes. Any verdict could be subject to a long appeals process.
Nigeria had recovered $312 million from the late Sani Abacha loot early in the year as part of efforts to have money stolen from the treasury return to the country.
Abacha, a military dictator ruled the country from November 1993 until his death in 1998. Corruption watchdog Transparency International estimates he stole as much as $5 billion from the country’s treasury while his regime lasted.
There are also many public officials who served under various administrations that have been alleged to have stolen huge money from the Treasury, but not much breakthrough has been recorded in the process of recovery of such money as the country economy continues to struggle under huge debt and insufficient revenue generation due to sharp drop in global oil prices and the impact of the outbreak of Covid-19.
The federal government has been working with governments worldwide to repatriate some of the cash and boost its finances.
Endemic graft among the political elite dating back decades has left most Nigerians mired in poverty, despite the country being Africa’s biggest economy.