Malabu Oil Scam: Former Agf, Adoke Writes Vp Osinbajo, Alleges Blackmail
BEVERLY HILLS, February 22, (THEWILL) – The former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (HAGF) Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN, CFR, has written a letter to the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, alleging blackmail from interested persons over the ongoing investigations on the Malabu Oil Transaction with Shell/ENI.
In the letter, dated 31st December 2015, Adoke told the VP that the letter was necessary in order to set the records straight in view of the spurious allegations, mischievous and misleading publications on the subject matter.
“Your Excellency may please note that except for those whose sole intentions are to denigrate and impugn my integrity for resisting attempts to use the Office of the HAGF to further narrow selfish business interests, the transaction aforementioned was legitimate, transparent and well documented, and above all, self-explanatory,” he wrote.
He revealed that he received an invitation from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) but was unable to immediately honour that invitation due to academic pursuits but on deep reflection “found the invitation rather curious, unconventional and mischievous”.
“It was after this development that I was made to understand that there were plans by some individuals who had become aware that I would be honouring the invitation of the EFCC on 28thDecember2015 to humiliate me.
“I was also informed that these individuals had enlisted a notorious online media (Sahara Reporters) to smear my name with allegations of corruption and bribery and that some agents of the Abacha family and one Lawal Abba acting for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, a former Vice President were behind the scheme.
“According to the information, their motive was predicated on the following:
(a) the claim that they were shareholders in Malabu Oil & Gas Limited and had been short-changed by the main shareholder of the company, and
(b) that I had refused to use my official position as Attorney General of the Federation to help them get their dues from the main shareholder.”
Adoke then revealed that “Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 245 was granted to Malabu Oil & Gas Limited by the administration of General Sani Abacha, GCFR in 1998 but was subsequently revoked by the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR in 2001 and re- allocated to Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited (SNUD) in 2002 under a Production Sharing Contract (PSC) arrangement.
“At the time of revocation and re-award, Malabu and SNUD had a binding Joint Operating Agreement to exploit the block with SNUD as technical partner to the Venture.
“Aggrieved over the revocation, Malabu petitioned the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum. After a public hearing, the House condemned the revocation and re- allocation to SNUD and recommended that the block be restored to Malabu.
“At this time SNUD had already expended huge resources of over $500 million to de-risk the Oil block under the existing arrangement with the FGN and had found oil in commercial quantities. This was inspite of the pending litigation instituted by Malabu”.
He revealed that both companies agreed to a Terms of Settlement pursuant to which Obasanjo, in 2006, rescinded his earlier revocation and restored the Oil block 245 to Malabu; which aggrieved Shell and commenced Arbitration proceedings at the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) claiming over $2 billion from the FGN for breach of contract, loss of investment and special damages.
He revealed that It was under the circumstances that “I, as AGF encouraged a definitive resolution between the parties who themselves had expressed an intention to settle but were untrusting of each other given their antecedents”.
“Furthermore, in the negotiations, the office of the Attorney General ensured that all relevant MDAs including the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) were represented and participated to ensure compliance with extant laws and processes.
“It is therefore incorrect and contrary to as widely claimed in some quarters that the money that was paid to Malabu, which was only warehoused in an escrow account, was meant for the Nigerian Government and that the country was thereby shortchanged.
“Malabu as title-holder of the oil block merely dispensed of her interest in it as allowed by law. This indeed is the case with similar oil blocks allocated to several notable Nigerians who also disposed of their interests to oil multinationals and are enjoying the proceeds without any eyebrow or allegations of corruption.”