In what federal lawmakers described as a “national embarrassment”, the House of Representatives yesterday launched an inquest into the role played by the federal government and two multinational oil giants (Agip and Shell) in the alleged round tripping of proceeds in the sale of the contentious OPL 245 in favour of Malabu Oil and Gas Limited.
This comes after reports fingered top presidency officials of perpetuating one of the biggest financial heists in the country’s history, following the out of court settlement between the listed parties, and the subsequent payment of $1.1 billion USD to Malabu Oil and Gas.
Coming under matters of urgent national importance, a motion sponsored by Hon. Robinson Uwak (Akwa Ibom/PDP) raised fears that the negative publicity which the transaction has generated within Nigeria and abroad, had damning consequences for the country’s image and credibility.
Uwak told his colleagues at Thursday’s plenary that there was substantial grounds for investigation into the alleged round tripping allegation to determine if there were violations of local code of conduct and anti corruption laws in the course of the transaction.
He stated, “There was a purported sale of OPL 245 to Shell/Agip consortium for the sum of $1,092,000,000 and immediate transfer of the entire amount to Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, an indigenous oil company, as compensation for its alleged prior interest in the oil bloc.