Godwin Tsa Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) has arraigned Malabu Oil & Gas Limited, an oil magnate, Aliyu Abubakar and six other companies and an oil before the Abuja division of the Federal High Court.
They were docked before Justice Iyang Ekwo on a 48-count fraud charge relating to alleged fraudulent transfer of controversial OPL 245 oil well.
The six companies listed in the charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/268/2016, are A-Group Construction Company Limited, Rocky Top Resources Limited, Mega-Tech Engineering Limited, Novel Properties and Development Company Limited, and Carlin International Nigeria Limited.
The prosecution agency alleged that they were involved in money laundering to the tune of about $1billion and N673million.
According to the charge, Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd and two of its directors who are currently at large- Seidougha Munamuna and a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dauzia Etete, known as Dan Etete “directly or indirectly converted the sum of $401,540,000 paid from the Federal Government of Nigeria Escrow Account with JP Morgan Chase Bank in London into Malabu Oil’s account with First Bank of Nigeria Limited.”
They were also alleged to have converted the money, even when they knew that the funds formed part of unlawful activity, to wit: “negotiation and signing of oil block 245 Resolution Agreement with Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited, Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited whereby taxes due to the Federal Government was waived”.
The prosecution told the court that the defendants took control of the sum of $401,540,000 in violation of section 9(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, an act punishable under section 15(3) of the same law. The commission also accused Abubakar and Rocky Top Resources Limited, in September 2011, took control of the sum of $336,456,906.78 which was part of proceeds of unlawful activity in the Malabu Oil deal.