An anti-corruption group, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to investigate Nigerian politicians indicted by Italian investigators in the acquisition of a OPL 245 oil field by Eni, the parent company of Nigeria Agip Oil Company.
In the petition signed by its chairman, Debo Adeniran, CACOL, urged the EFCC “to file appropriate charges against anyone found culpable in this matter at the end of your due diligent investigation”.
The anti-corruption group also demanded that for the investigation of Minister of Justice and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, accused of abusing his office; and Dan Etete, a former minister during the military regime of Sani Abacha.
Italian prosecutors recently opened a probe into the acquisition of OPL 245 and have placed the company, its former Chief Executive Officer, Paolo Scaroni, and current CEO, Claudio Descalzi, under investigation for alleged international corruption as regards the deal.
The prosecutors alleged that Eni used at least half of the $1.1billion naira to purchase the oil field in 2011 to bribe Nigerian politicians, intermediaries and others.
Both Scaroni and Descalzi, Eni’s former and present CEO’s allegedly oversaw the payments to parties who helped secure the sale.
Italian prosecutors in May 2014, asked the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service to freeze $85m in assets related to Malabu Oil & Gas, a company owned by Dan Etete, a former Nigerian oil minister whom the prosecutor claimed was involved in the sale.
CACOL further demanded that “other scandals with international dimensions should be revisited in order to check this culture of corruption, impunity and recklessness that is pervasive in the country”.
OPL 245 deal has come under scrutiny in the National Assembly for the role played by Mr. Etete who was said to have awarded the rights to the block to Malabu Oil and Gas in 1998, at a time when he was close to then-military dictator General Sani Abacha.
PREMIUM TIMES has reported extensively on the scandal.
In February 2014, the House of Representatives called for the outright cancellation of the award of OPL 245 to Shell and Agip for identified flaws in the resolution agreement among Malabu Oil and Gas, Shell and Agip with the federal government acting as obligor.