Nigeria’s Malabu Oil Scandal: FG Re-Arraigns Aliyu Abubakar On 67-Counts Charge
09 Sep 2020

The Federal Government on Tuesday re-arraigned an oil magnate, Aliyu Abubakar, and seven others on a 67-count criminal charge over their alleged involvement in the disputed Oil Processing License (OPL) 245 otherwise known as Malabu Oil.

Abubakar was in July arraigned on a 48-count criminal charge bordering on money laundering, fraud and failure to disclose huge financial transactions in line with the country’s financial laws.

Abubakar and others at large, are also linked to a fraud of over $1 billion in the Malabu oil deal.

The others arraigned with the oil magnet are, Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, A-Group Construction Company Limited, Rocky Top Resources Limited, Mega-Tech Engineering Limited, Novel Properties and Development Company Limited, Imperial Union Limited and Carlin International Nigeria Limited.

According to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Malabu Oil and Gas Limited negotiated  and signed the “Block 245 resolution agreement with Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited, Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited whereby taxes due to the Federal Government of Nigeria was waived.”

In the suit numbered, FHC/ABJ/CR/268/2016, Abubakar, was also accused of using his companies to receive money which was proceeds from the Malabu oil deal.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to all the 67 charges when they were read out to him in the court yesterday and the trial judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, fixed September 10, 2020, to commence trial.

Count three of the amended charge reads: “That you, Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, Seidougha Munamuna (at large), Amaran Joseph (at large) and Dauzia Loya Etete (at large) on or about August 30, 2013, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court took control of the sum of $74,200,000.03  paid from the Federal Government of Nigeria Escrow Account No: 0041451493 IBAN 30CHA5609242411492 with JP Morgan Chase Bank in London into the account No. 1005552028 of Malabu Oil & Gas Limited domiciled with Bank PHB Plc (Now Keystone Bank Limited Account No, 3610042472), when you reasonably ought to have known that the funds formed part of an unlawful activity to wit: Negotiation, signing and payment in respect of the Block 245 Resolution Agreement between the Federal Government of Nigeria with Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited whereby taxes, accruals and royalties due to the Federal Government of Nigeria were unlawfully waived and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under section 15(3) and 15 (4) of the same Act”.

By Sunday Ejike, Nigerian Tribune, 8 September 2020

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