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N 155 billion Oil Block Scam: We merely acted as Facilitators – FG

By on May 28, 2012

After remaining silent for nearly a week as more and more shocking revelations surfaced in the Nigerian media, the Federal Government has finally issued a statement on the N 155 billion oil block scam.

In a statement released by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Bello Adoke, the Senior Advocate said government merely acted as a facilitator in what was purely a commercial dispute between Malabu Oil and Shell.

The statement however was silent on whether government knew in acting as a facilitator in the dispute, it would be helping to make stupendously rich a man already convicted twice of money laundering by competent French courts. The statement was also silent on why the deal was structured in a way that Mohammed Abacha who was an original shareholder in Malabu Oil would be schemed out of the resolution and ensuing largesse.

The Federal Government through Bello Adoke has also denied it was involved in any round tripping, stating that all parties were aware that the money would be paid to Malabu with the government acting as a conduit.

The statement read in part, “​In furtherance of the Resolution Agreement, SNUD and ENI agreed to pay Malabu through the Federal Government acting as an obligor, the sum of US$ 1,092,040,000 Billion in full and final settlement of any and all claims, interests or rights relating to or in connection with Block 245 and Malabu agreed to settle and waive any and all claims, interests or rights relating  to or in connection with Block 245 and also consented to the re-allocation of Block 245 to Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited (NAE) and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCO).

It is therefore quite evident from the foregoing that the role played by the Federal Government, its agencies and officials in relation to Block 245 was essentially that of facilitator of the resolution of a long standing dispute between Malabu and SNUD over the ownership and right to operate Block 245. At all times material to the resolution of the dispute, the Federal Government was not aware of any subsisting third party interest in Malabu’s claim to OPL 245 and neither did any person or company apply to be joined in the negotiations as an interested party.”

As expected, government was silent on the transfers of hundreds of millions of dollars from the settlement to close associates of Bello Adoke and President Jonathan, specifically one Alhaji Abubakar Aliyu also known as “Young Alhaji”. Mr. Aliyu’s relationship with Malabu Oil is not officially documented, yet his accounts received exorbitant sums of money from the deal.