Justice Minister Calls Abachas’ ‘Architects of Ruin’

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Bello Adoke took exception to questions fielded to him by members of the House Representatives ad-Hoc committee investigating the Malabu Oil deal.

A member of the committee John Dyeign (ACN) asked the Attorney General if he was responsible for the payments made to Malabu despite the questionable nature of the deal.

The minister of Justice responded, “I know where this question is coming from. Ask me and I will give you the answer. Am not a crook and I don’t support crooks.”

Dyeign countered the response saying, “You are calling yourself names; nobody is calling you such a name.”

Adoke went on to call the Abacha’s the architects of ruin in the country, albeit in a subliminal fashion.

He said, ““I am being maligned by people who are the architects of the ruins of this country.”

This is because it is the Abacha’s that petitioned the government over the Malabu Oil deal. Adoke said the Abacha’s did not make their claims to the oil block early enough, and were doing so 12 long years later.

“The Malabu matter has been on for 12 years and this latter day claimant did not come forward to lay claim to the oil bloc. This latter day claimant (Abacha) waited till after the transaction had been resolved and the issue had become irreversible before writing a petition to the AGF. The AGF advised them to approach the relevant agencies of government as the matter was an internal affairs of Malabu.”

Adoke also revealed the FG’s intervention in the whole saga, saying the government was only a mediator between the oil majors and Malabu.

He said, “To resolve all the contending claims in a satisfactory and holistic manner, due regard was given to the terms of settlement of Nov. 30, 2006, which had been reduced to orders of the court, the underlying policy of encouraging the participation of indigenous oil and gas companies in the upstream sector of the oil industry and the fact that Shell had substantially de-risked Bloc 245.

“To accommodate all these interests, a Resolution Agreement dated April 29, 2011 was executed wherein the FGN agreed to resolve all the issues with Malabu in respect of Bloc 245 amicably and Malabu also agreed that it would settle and waive any and all claims to any interest in OPL 245.

“In furtherance of the Resolution Agreement, SNUD and ENI agreed to pay Malabu through the FG acting as an obligor, the sum of US$ 1,092,040,000bn in full and final settlement of any and all claims, interests or rights relating to or in connection with Bloc 245 and Malabu agreed to settle and waive any and all claims, interests or rights relating to or in connection with Bloc 245 and also consented to the re-allocation of Bloc 245 to Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited.

“It is, therefore, quite evident from the foregoing that the role played by the FG, its agencies and officials in relation to Bloc 245 was essentially that of facilitator of the resolution of a long standing dispute between Malabu and SNUD over the ownership and right to operate Bloc 245.”

The Herald NG

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