by Azeez Adeniyi
Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke has been fingered in the ceding of the controversial $1.04billion OPL 245 to Malabu Oil, The Nation reports.
It was gathered that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has obtained documents implicating Diezani in the oil block deal and also confirming the interest of the Abacha family.
A source who spoke to the newspaper said, “The ongoing probe of the controversial oil block has shown that Diezani was central to the ceding of the oil block to Malabu Oil and Gas Limited.
“Some documents available to detectives have clearly shown that she has some explanation to give on how the oil block was returned to Malabu.
“At the appropriate time, the EFCC may seek inter-agency collaboration with the appropriate authorities in the United Kingdom to enable its detectives to interrogate Diezani.”
Responding to a question, the source added, “There are many suspects we are closing in on the Malabu Oil block. More will still face trial.”
He said Diezani in a letter to Managing Director of Malabu Oil and Gas Limited in 2010, asked the company to pay US$210million as signature bonus.
The letter, ICSID Case No. ARE/07/18, said: “Further to the Settlement Agreement between the Federal Government of Nigeria and Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd dated November 2006, your company is hereby allocated OPI 245 subject to the payment of the sum of US$210million as signature bonus into the Federal Government designated account less the sum of US$2,040,000 already paid by your company in respect of the said block within ninety days (90 days) from the date of receipt of this letter.
“Please note that failure to pay the above mentioned within the stipulated period will amount to forfeiture of the allocation without further notice from the office.
“Please, accept the assurance of my highest regards.”