$1.3bn Malabu scandal: Shell admits paying Etete for oil bloc

  • As Dangote truck kills three pedestrians

Royal Dutch Shell, yesterday, admitted paying money to Malabu Oil and Gas for rights to oil bloc, OML 245. Malabu is owned by former Petroleum Minister, Chief Dan Etete.

This came as controversy, yesterday, trailed plans by the House of Representatives Committee on Justice probing the Malabu deal to summon former President Goodluck Jonathan to testify before the ad-hoc panel investigating the deal

Former President Jonathan, however, in a statement by his spokesman, Ikechukwu Eze, denied allegations that he received a bribe of $200 million as proceeds from the Malabu oil deal.

Also yesterday, a Federal High Court in Abuja, fixed May 18 to hear a motion seeking to stop the Federal Government from entering into any Final Investment Decision (F.I.D) Agreement with any person in respect of Zabazaba Deep water project located within the disputed Oil Prospecting Licence, OPL 245.

Shell’s admittance is coming after a new evidence, following the corruption probe into its acquisition of the oil bloc, off the coast of Nigeria, indicating that top executives were prepared to press ahead with the deal, despite knowing that most of the money could end up as political bribes.

Shell spokesman, Andy Norman, said the group had known the Federal Government “would compensate Malabu to settle its claim on the bloc.” The company had previously said its payments from the 2011 deal went to the Federal Government.

According to Norman, while Shell knew that former Petroleum Minister, Dan Etete, was “involved” with Malabu, it had not confirmed that he controlled the company.

In the meantime, a truck belonging to Dangote Cement Company on Tuesday caused the death of three persons, while driving against traffic along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

The Commander of the Traffic Compliance and Enlightenment Corps‎, TRACE, Seni Ogunyemi, who confirmed the accident to PREMIUM TIMES said the registration number of the truck is DTF 118XA.

He said the truck driver, who was driving on the wrong side of the road, rammed on pedestrians crossing the road at Arepo area, and killed three on the spot‎.

Mr. Ogunyemi said the driver has been arrested with the truck towed to a police station.

He said the corpses of victims have been deposited at the morgue of the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu.

In a related development, the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, in Ogun State said it will deploy 770 of its personnel, as well as 25 patrol vehicles for the Easter Patrol operations across the state.

The Sector Commander, Clement Oladele, made this known in a statement. He said the Easter patrol will commence from April 13 to 18.

Mr. Oladele said the deployed officials comprise of 360 Regular Officers and Marshals and 410 Special Marshals.

Other logistics including ambulances and emergency toll lines will also be provided, he said.

Vanguard with additional report from Premium