I have limited information on Malabu Oil deal, says AGF
The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, yesterday, disclosed why he was yet to come up with a final position on the controversial Malabu Oil affair.
The deal involved the sum of $1.1billion, equivalent of over N500 billion, allegedly pilfered when Diezani Alison-Madueke was at the helms of the Petroleum Resources Ministry.
Malami, who appeared before the Razak Atunwa-led House of Representatives ad hoc committee probing alleged corruption, malpractices and breach of due process in the award of OPL 245, said the Malabu Oil deal was fraught with a lot of complexities, hindering investigation and resolution.
Presenting a 16-page document to the lawmakers, Malami said there were multiple requests from interested parties, locally and internationally, for mutual legal assistance from the United States, Italy and the United Kingdom.
The AGF said given the constraint he faced, he had limited information because “investigation is ongoing” and “no conclusion is certain.” He urged the lawmakers to give him more time to prepare a proper and fuller brief.
“The field has not been covered. Investigation is ongoing nationally and internationally, and what I say might alter the conclusion of the case. I took steps to write to the international agencies and government to consolidate on the available information. Only the day before yesterday (Tuesday), I forwarded response to the mutual legal request that has to do with Malabo in the U.S. We have to move with caution by allowing representations to be made.”
In attendance at the hearing were Mohammed, son of the late Head of State, Sani Abacha, and Oyewole Fasawe, shareholders in the Malabu transaction.
They, however, withdrew their submissions for opportunity to present a more comprehensive and detailed presentation to the committee.
Abdullahi Haruna, who stood in for Mohammed and Fasawe, reminded members of the committee that they had submitted documents to the 7th House on the issue.
Atunwa, in his opening remark, said the 8th House is starting the probe afresh, adding: “This is a highly controversial allocation of perhaps the biggest oil bloc in Africa. There is a lot at stake on this issue and the credibility and revenue of this country is at stake.”
He adjourned proceedings till October 18, 2016, so that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) could also make submission.