Home Top Stories Breaking – Malibu: Court Reverses Order, Returns OPL 245 To Shell, ENI

Breaking – Malibu: Court Reverses Order, Returns OPL 245 To Shell, ENI


By Nse Anthony-Uko,

ABUJA, (Sundiata Post) – The Federal High Court, Abuja Division has reversed its previous ruling which retrieved the control of one of Nigeria’s richest oil blocks, OPL 245, from Shell and ENI.
The court had on January 26, issued an order, based on a motion by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, retrieving the ownership of the oil block from the multinational companies.
Following that order, Shell and ENI approached the court with an an application, challenging the ruling.
They contended that the rights of parties to fair hearing was not followed before the ruling was reached.
They prayed the court to reverse the order, and allow the parties adress the issue, legally.
Malabu, the company which was given the oil block in controversial circumstance in 1998 had also applied to be a party to the application.

In 1998, Dan Etete, who was then the minister of petroleum, had awarded the lucrative licence to Malabu, where he had stakes.

The sale to Malabu was nullified by Obasanjo in 1999 and assigned to Shell — without a public bid.

Ownership was suspiciously reverted to Malabu thereafter, leading to legal action by Shell who later resorted to negotiating directly with Etete after President Goodluck Jonathan assumed office in 2010.

A year later, the $1.3 billion deal was struck, with Malabu getting $1.1 billion from Shell and Eni t transfer its ownership, while the signature bonus was paid to Nigeria.

In the deal finally consummated in 2011, only $210 million of the $1.3 billion paid by Shell and Eni for the block went into federal government coffers as “signature bonus”.

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