- As Jonathan, Diezani are named in Italian’s Malabu bribe probe
Following the controversial shut down of three thriving business jetties over alleged non compliance with ISPS Code and it’s resultant backlash on the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the Director General, Dakuku Peterside has effected redeployment of some senior management staff.
The MARITIME FIRST exclusively reported that a redeployment exercise was looming, as the Director General adopts decisive measures to foreclose the embarrassment that followed widespread stakeholders’ reactions, on learning that one of the three shut facilities, the STARZS Marine had a valid license / certificate of ISPS compliance, when the agency mindlessly, shut it down.
Confirming the redeployment exercise, a Director in the agency, Hajia Lami Tumaka, however explained that the exercise was “to reposition the Agency towards meeting its statutory mandate as enshrined in the NIMASA Act and other enabling instruments”.
The exercise which has seen Mr. Isichei Osamgbi returned as the new Head, Corporate Communications, replacing Tumaka, a newly promoted Director who is now the Director, Special Duties in the Director General’s office; has also seen Mr. Ibrahim Jibril emerged as the Director, Strategic Management, in the Office of the Director General; Mr. Abiodun Akinyosoye taking over as the Director of Administration and Human Resources while Mrs. Aishatu Jumai Musa becomes the Director, Planning Research & Data Management Services Department, when Mr. Audu Abdulsalam is now the Director, Legal Services.
The exercise also relocates Mr. Hassan El-Yakub Director, NIMASA Eastern Zone and Mr. Olayemi Abass Director, Western Zone; while Mr. Anthony Ogadi heads, Shipping Development when Engr. Abel Femowei becomes the Coordinator, Central Zone, Warri.
In the same vein, Captain Sunday Umoren is now Head, Maritime Safety and Seafarers Standards Department of the Agency.
Speaking further, Hajia Lami Tumaka noted that the exercise has come on the heels of the recent promotion which saw to the elevation of eight Deputy Directors as Directors, 15 Assistant Directors to Deputy Directors while 56 grade level 14 officers were promoted to their next grade of Assistant Directors.
In the meantime, Italian prosecutors have named former President Goodluck Jonathan and Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, who served under his administration as Minister of Petroleum Resources, among those who allegedly received kickbacks in the controversial $1.3bn oil block deal involving oil giants ENI and Royal Dutch Shell.
According to AFP, Italian prosecutors, in court documents filed late last months in Milan, claimed that the Chief Executive of ENI, Claudio Descalzi, and his predecessor, Paolo Scaroni, met Jonathan “in person” to thrash out the deal, which also involved former British intelligence agents working as advisors for Shell.
The prosecutors alleged that Jonathan and Diezani benefitted from a sum of $466m converted into naira and used to grease the palms of some Nigerian government officials to facilitate the alleged shady deal.
The prosecutors alleged that another $54m was withdrawn by one Abubakar Aliyu, whom the prosecutors described as an “agent” of Jonathan.
The beneficiaries of the money went on a shopping spree buying “property, aeroplanes, armoured cars,” prosecutors stated in the court papers.
In the said papers, which AFP claimed to have sighted, the Italian prosecutors alleged that ENI and Shell executives worked with a Nigerian businessman, Dan Etete, who was an “oil minister under the military ruler, Sani Abacha, from 1995 to 1998.”
Etete’s company, Malabu was the alleged “fraudulent holder” of the OPL 245 block, according to the court documents filed by Italian prosecutors.
The prosecutors claimed that after talks in Milan and Abuja, the oil block was bought illegally by the oil majors in contravention of domestic laws, “without competitive tendering” and with “full, unconditional exemption from all national taxes.”
To facilitate the alleged shady deal, a total of $801.5m was allegedly transferred to Etete’s Malabu accounts, out of which $466m was converted into naira and used for greasing the palms of government officials, including Jonathan and Diezani.
However, ENI and Shell have both denied wrongdoing in the transaction.
Shell, in an email to AFP, said, “We are aware of the investigation and we hope to show the prosecutor that there is no basis to prosecute Shell.
“Shell takes this matter seriously and is co-operating with the authorities.”
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had also recently pressed charges in connection with the same oil block deal.
Last Friday, the Federal High Court in Lagos ordered three banks to temporary forfeit a sum of $153m, which Diezani allegedly siphoned from the coffers of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
For his part, Jonathan has denied that his government was corrupt and contested that the claim by his successor, President Muhammadu Buhari, that he left “virtually empty” treasury.
Additional report from Punch