Malabu Oil Scandal: Senate Begins Investigation
The Senate has resolved to investigate the Malabu Oil Scandal which raged in the media for several weeks as reports came to light that the highest levels of Nigerian government were involved in brokering an oil deal on behalf of a former corrupt petroleum minister. The reports which were initially leaked by an international anti-corruption watchdog, Global Witness and then investigated in-depth by Premium Times, a leading newspaper.
The investigation revealed how the Federal Government paid money to Dan Etete, who had been convicted of money laundering in France on several occasions. The investigation also revealed how some of the money from the deal found its way into accounts of individuals closely linked to the Jonathan administration.
The Deputy Senate Leader, Abdul Ningi sponsored a motion calling for the investigation, citing the public’s interest in the scandal and Nigeria’s membership of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative as reasons why a probe must be conducted.
He said, “The media reports have raised legal and ethical issues surrounding the transaction and pattern of distribution of proceeds to the beneficiaries.
“If all these weighty allegations are ignored, Nigeria may be sanctioned by the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative for violating a global initiative to which it is a signatory and our image will further be eroded locally and internationally.”
He added, “We want to find out whether it is true that money from the sale was paid to the Federation Account. Whether the Federal Government agent by his position disbursed the money. Whether the government agent moved money from the federation account or the same agent has moved money from Keystone Bank. This has to do with finance, banking and currency; it has to do with anti corruption.”