This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Abacha's Son Lays Claims to Malabu Shares

Mohammed Abacha, the eldest son of the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, has accused the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Chief Dan Etete, of short changing him on the board of Malabu Oil and Gas Limited.

Abacha, who testified before the House Ad hoc Committee investigating the sale of Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 245, claimed that he owned 50 per cent shares of Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, Pecos Energy owned 20 per cent, while Etete had 30 per cent at the inception of the organisation.

Abacha alleged that Etete connived with some officials of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to alter the shares of Malabu and ended up giving him (Etete) 100 per cent ownership of the company.

He also alleged that the original file of Malabu, which was registered on April 24, 1998 with N20 million share capital 'got missing in the commission and a temporary file was opened in May 2000.

In a bid to further press his claim, Abacha said he instituted a civil action in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/59/2010 and FHC/ABJ/CS/51/10 against Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, other directors and the CAC.

He alleged that his suit was however frustrated due to the disappearance of the case file from the court.

He also alleged that between 2009 and 2011, Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Company (SNUD), Nigeria Agip Exploration Ltd (NAE) and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Limited (SNEPCO) entered into negotiation for the acquisition of OPL 245 being an asset of Malabu Oil and Gas and same was acquired through Etete for a consideration of USD 1.3 billion without recourse to the rightful owners being the complainant.

Abacha said the matter was reported to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Responding, the Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, said the commission had commenced investigations into the allegations.

He, however, said the anti-graft agency was not in possession of facts relating to the circumstances surrounding the sale of OPL 245 and cannot comment authoritatively on the matter presently.

"Our investigation into the case is not yet concluded and any position paper from the commission at this stage would be prejudicial to our ongoing investigation," Lamorde said.

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