President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to ensure that those involved in the Malabu OPL 245 scam are made to face prosecution.
Named in the saga are Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke, Attorney-General of the Federation under the Goodluck Jonathan administration, and Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, a former Minister of Petroleum Resources. Former President Goodluck Jonathan was also named in the scam by investigators in Italy and the UK.
The President’s directive is in sharp disagreement with the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, who had written to the President asking that those involved in the scam be freed from prosecution.
Mr. Malami, among other reasons, had based his position on a claim that the Official Secrets Act protects the affected officials from being prosecuted for actions taken while in office.
But in strongly worded counter-memo to the President, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, Acting EFCC Chairman, debunked Mr. Malami’s position. On January 18 , President Buhari sent a memo to the EFCC through the office of the Chief of Staff directing the agency to continue working to get those involved in the scam prosecuted.
An earlier memo sent to President Buhari by the EFCC updated him on the progress being made in many jurisdictions to ensure that oil companies involved in the scam are punished.
The memo, exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters, cited the indictment of officials of Royal Dutch Shell and ENI in Italy, as well as ongoing litigations in the UK, which have already resulted in the repatriation of some of the funds, laundered through the scam to Nigeria.
The memo to the EFCC represents a big blow to Mr. Malami’s attempts at colluding with perpetrators of the scam.