By Adebayo Williams
There appears to be no time to rest for Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, as the House of Representatives recently relaunched investigations into the controversial $1.1 billion Oil Prospecting License 245 known as the ‘Malabu Oil Deal’. Alison-Madueke and former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, have been named among the officials to be invited for questioning.
The members of the House had lamented that the case had cost Nigeria about N500 billion and was totally unacceptable that it be swept aside. The committee, which is chaired by a member from Kwara State, Razak Atunwa, held a session with some of the key stakeholders, Shell and Agip, involved in the deal at the National Assembly in Abuja. Shell had challenged the jurisdiction of the committee to investigate the deal but had been overruled.
The Reps said the said area, holding up to 9.2 billion barrels of oil, had been allocated to Dan Etete, a former minister under Sani Abacha’s regime, by himself in 1998 for just $20 million. He was reported to have paid just $2 million. Olusegun Obasanjo revoked the deal and later sold it to Shell at $210 million. They said while the case was in court, Alison-Madueke and Adoke had cooked up suspicious agreement. It was also alleged that the pair had caused the $1.1 billion it stated as paid into the Federation Account to be transferred to Malabu which split the money into various foreign accounts.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, also represented at the session, promised to provide information on the outcome of its investigation into the deal within two weeks.