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FG: We’ve recovered $85m from Malabu deal

FG: We’ve recovered $85m from Malabu deal
October 26
15:31 2017
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The federal government has announced the recovery of $85 million from the United Kingdom as part of funds allegedly looted from the Malabu oil deal.

Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation, disclosed this on Thursday while speaking at the consultative meeting on assets recovery.

He said despite the non-compliant nature of some countries, the government would not relent in its bid to recover more funds.

The Malabu deal involved OPL 245 with about nine billion barrels of crude oil.

The sale of the block, which is considered as one of the most lucrative on the continent, has been replete with allegations and lawsuits.

OPL 245 was awarded to Malabu at a time the beneficial owners were Dan Etete, then minister of petroleum resources who approved the licence, and Mohammed Abacha, son of the head of state at the time.

Their identities as the beneficial owners were later publicly revealed after the death of Sani Abacha, former head of state.

In the deal finally consummated in 2011, only $210 million of the $1.3 billion paid by Shell and Eni for the block went into federal government coffers as “signature bonus”.

The rest was paid to Malabu Oil and Gas, mainly owned by Etete. The sale to Malabu was nullified by Obasanjo in 1999 and assigned to Shell — without a public bid.

Ownership was suspiciously reverted to Malabu thereafter, leading to legal action by Shell who later resorted to negotiating directly with Etete after former President Goodluck Jonathan assumed office in 2010.

A year later, the $1.3 billion deal was struck, with Malabu getting $1.1 billion from Shell and Eni to its transfer ownership, while signature bonus was paid to Nigeria.

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