Sunday, 23 April 2017

$1.04b Malabu Oil Block: I did not lead negotiation team, says Ado

A former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), has said he did not lead the Federal Government negotiation team on the $1.04billion Malabu Oil Block.

He said yesterday that as at the time of his involvement in 2011 as the AGF, the OPL 245 was already vested in Malabu Oil and Gas Limited.

According to him, he only played the role of a facilitator in the transaction to ensure that the Federal Government was released from the contingent liability arising from the arbitration instituted by Shell.

Adoke made the clarifications in a statement in Abuja by his Media Officer, Mr. Victor Akhidenor.

The statement said: “While we share the view that government should ensure an end to the Malabu Saga, we wish to correct the erroneous view that Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN, led the government team that brokered the deal, which resulted in the sale of the controversial oil well in 2011.

“It will be recalled that Mr. Adoke had on several occasions reiterated that the Malabu transaction preceded him in office.

“The initial allocation of the Block 245 took place in 1998, when the administration of Gen Sani Abacha, in pursuance of its policy of promoting indigenous participation in the upstream sector of the oil industry, allocated it to Malabu Oil and Gas Limited (Malabu).

“He had also clearly stated that in 2001 the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo revoked OPL 245 and re-allocated it to Shell Ultra Deep Limited (Shell), Malabu’s technical partners when they were initially allocated the block in 1998.

“It was Malabu’s dissatisfaction with the revocation that led to series of litigation between it and the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN).”

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