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‘No evidence yet to indict Diezani, Adoke, Aganga on Malabu oil deal’

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Diezani Alison-Madueke

Diezani Alison-Madueke

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Abubakar Malami, yesterday disclosed that there was no evidence yet to indict those accused of corruption in the Malabu oil deal.

He made the disclosure when he appeared before the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on alleged breach of due process in the award of oil prospecting licence.

He explained that former Petroleum Minister Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke and her counterpart in the finance ministry Olusegun Aganga, could not be arrested based on the available information.

He said on-going investigations were still inconclusive, adding that it was also too early to indict his predecessor, Mohammed Adoke over his alleged involvement in the controversial $1.092 billion oil deal.

“The investigations are from different perspectives because of the alleged criminality, breach of contract and other associated elements,” he said.

The minister acknowledged that there had been non-compliance with laid down rules, as well as lack of transparency in the sector and promised to prosecute anyone found culpable.

He, however, said the problem would be solved if the Petroleum Industry Bill were passed into law.Malami condemned the decision by the accused persons to open an escrow account on the deal, which he described as fraudulent.

According to him, such monies should have been paid into the Federation Account or the Consolidated Revenue Fund.He said those alleged to play a role in the deal were given the opportunity to make their presentations.

He said although Adoke did not appear to answer some questions on the matter, he wrote to state his side of the story.The chief operating officer of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Bello Rabiu, clarified that the petroleum minister had the power to allocate oil blocs.

Also, counsel to Malabu, Mr. Abdullahi Haruna and the Consultant to the majority shareholders, Lawal Abba, explained that former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his deputy Atiku Abubakar had no stake in Malabu oil.



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