Nigeria’s Minister of Justice, Justice Abubakar Malami, says that the Dutch and Swiss governments are expected to send the sum of $200 million from the OPL 245 Malabu Oil deal to Nigeria.
The Minister announced this in Abuja during an interactive session on capacity with members of the Judiciary in Abuja on Tuesday.
The Minister said the recovered loot was paid into federal government treasuries for the development of critical infrastructure in the nation like the second Niger Bridge and the Lagos Ibadan Expressway. He also added that the whistleblower programme has recovered over N685 million in the past year while forfeited vessels and trucks recovered N500 million for the government within the same period.
The backstory: Multinational oil companies, Eni and Shell, paid $1.3 billion in 2011 to acquire OPL 245 offshore field. The payment was to a company called Malabu, which was owned by Nigeria’s former Oil Minister Dan Etete. However, Italian prosecutors claim that most of the payments were kickbacks to Nigerian government officials.
Italian prosecutors also claim that nearly $1.1 billion was stolen by Nigerian politicians and middlemen with Dan Etete keeping half. Italian courts said the oil companies paid the money knowing most of it would go as kickbacks.
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Prosecutors have, therefore, called for an 8-year prison sentence for former Eni CEO, Paolo Scaroni. Both companies have been fined $1.04 million and prosecutors seek the confiscation of $1.092 billion from the defendants of the case.