$1.1bn Malabu fraud: EFCC launches manhunt for Etete

d-etete

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is currently on the trail of a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dan Etete.

Etete was charged with money laundering and fraud in Italy and Nigeria.

According to reports, the ex-minister, who was accused of perpetrating a $1.1bn fraud through his company, Malabu Oil & Gas Limited, had allegedly rendered himself unreachable, making it difficult for the EFCC to serve him with court papers.

Punch quoted a senior detective at the EFCC as saying, “We have been trying to contact Etete, but from all indications, he seems to be on the run. Now that he has been charged in an Italian court, the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation will coordinate with the Italian government.

“We have transferred the Malabu fraud case to the AGF and he will decide on the next line of action. It is doubtful that he is in Nigeria, but we will continue to look for him.

“Since he is under investigation in the United Kingdom, Italy and the United States, he will not be able to hide. All the relevant security agencies will join hands in finding him.”

It was further observed that the embattled former minister’s alleged accomplice, Abubakar Aliyu, who the Italian authorities said was a front for former President Goodluck Jonathan, would face extradition soon.

The Malabu oil scam, which has been under investigation for over four years, relates to the billions of dollars paid by oil giants, Shell and ENI, into a Federal Government account, for OPL 245, considered the richest oil block in Africa.

According to the anti-graft agency, a former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke illegally transferred over $800m to Etete’s oil firm, Malabu Oil & Gas Limited from a Federal Government account.

The UK authorities froze $85m in Etete’s bank account while $170m was frozen in its Switzerland account.

Justice Edis of the Southwark Crown Court in London had, last year, described the Malabu scam as questionable, accusing Jonathan of not doing enough to protect the interest of Nigeria.

According to the judge, evidence from the US authorities presented to the court “shows payments following circuitous routes, which totalled $523m, and arrived at Abubakar Aliyu, aka ‘Mr. Corruption’… Aliyu’s companies are allegedly fronts for President Goodluck Jonathan.”

Few days ago, the current Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, Mr. Abubakar Malami SAN, had stated that there was insufficient evidence to convict his predecessor, Mohammed Adoke, former minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison- Madueke, and former Finance minister, Olusegun Aganga, over the $1.092 billion Malabu oil deal scandal.

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