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Malabu Deal: Fg Gets International Kudos From World Anti-graft Body

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SAN FRANCISCO, December 28, (THEWILL) – International anti-graft watchdog, Global Witness, has hailed the Federal Government for its doggedness in confronting corruption headlong and especially for having the boldness to file criminal charges against former Petroleum and Justice Ministers over their involvement in the diversion of $1.1 billion belonging to the Federal Government in the controversial Malabu Oil deal.

The United Kingdom-based non-governmental agency said it was delighted that a Nigerian government had taken the challenge, which others overlooked, in dragging the individuals and entities implicated in the high profile graft to court to account for their actions.

According to a letter, signed by Simon Taylor, Global Witness Director, Global Witness said the action of the Nigerian government had given fresh hope that the monster of corruption would be fought to a standstill.

“We were delighted to read press reports that former Attorney General Adoke, Chief Etete and others have been indicted by the EFCC for fraud and money laundering in respect of the OPL 245 oil deal,” the letter read.

“We would like to take this opportunity to reiterate our admiration for the sterling investigatory work by the EFCC, under your leadership, that has brought this case to court.

“We believe that the case will send a powerful message to the world that Nigeria is intent on prosecuting corruption without fear or favour.

“We applaud the Nigerian authorities for fighting back against corruption without fear or favour, making sure there are real consequences for taking part in shady deals like with OPL 245.”

THEWILL recalls that the EFCC, on December 16 2016, filled a nine-count criminal charge against former Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke; former Petroleum Minister, Dan Etete; and Aliyu Abubakar, a businessman, for their involvement in the Malabu deal.

Meanwhile, reports indicate that the Italian government has declared its intention to file charges against Etete, and 12 others, in Italy over the deal.

Apart from Etete, another Nigerian, Chukwuemeka Obi, is among the 11 individuals to be charged by the Italian authorities. Shell and Eni are also to be sued to take the defendants to 13.

Story by Oputah David