ABUJA, The Federal House of Representatives’ attempt to Investigate the transaction between the Federal Government, Shell, Agip and Malabu Oil and Gas Limited in respect of the oil bloc OPL 245 suffered another setback, as Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke was absent at the public hearing.
Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Jonah Otunla, was equally absent at the hearing.
In a letter to the House’s ad hoc committee investigating the transaction, chaired by Hon. Leo Ogor, the minister explained that he could not honour the invitation because of his involvement in the government's review of the 2002 judgement of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Bakassi Peninsula.
Although Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Deziani Allison-Madueke and Minister of State, Finance, Alhaji Yerima Ngama were in attendance, they were unable to provide the committee with position papers on the sale of OPL 245, after they claimed that the letters written by the committee to request position papers never got to them.
Consequently, Chairman of the Ad hoc Committee, Hon Leo Ogor, announced that the investigation could not proceed in the absence of key personalities and documents relevant to the exercise.
He said the committee would announce a new date for the investigation as soon as the key ministries, departments and agencies are ready to present the required documents.
Speaker of the House, Hon Aminu Tambuwal, declaring the hearing open, had said it was meant to unravel the truth on the alleged shady deal. Tambuwal, represented by Deputy Speaker, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, emphasised that the House has made probity, transparency and accountability its cardinal objectives and would keep faith with it.
“We have resolved to ensure that government agencies or its officials trusted with position of authority conduct themselves in the best way and manner that could portray government in good light,” he said.
“The House is also prepared to give vent to all legislations that are capable of enhancing the performance of government agencies and its officials for the benefit of Nigerians.”
However, information available to THEWILL confirm the existence of adequate proof that the Federal Government was robbed of several millions of dollars when the block was bought off Malabo Oil and Gas.
Months ago, the House had resolved to investigate the scandalous sale of the N155 billion naira oil block involving Nigerian government officials, two multinational oil giants and Malabu Oil and Gas company Ltd, following a motion under “matters of urgent national importance,” brought by Hon. Robinson Uwak (PDP, Akwa Ibom).
Earlier media reports has stated how two oil giants paid $1.1bn into a Federal Government account for OPL 245, and how the money was subsequently transferred by the government into accounts of Malabu, known to owned by a former petroleum minister.