Home Business Malabu oil scandal: Court lifts order on temporary forfeiture of oil bloc
Business - March 17, 2017

Malabu oil scandal: Court lifts order on temporary forfeiture of oil bloc

A Federal high Court in Abuja has set aside its ruling which ordered a temporary forfeiture of the OPL 245, oil bloc to the Nigerian Government.

The ruling follows a request by oil giants Shell Nigeria Limited and Eni.

The multinational oil firms had in two separate motions asked the court to set aside the ruling, arguing that the process of procuring the grant is unconstitutional.

They had also accused the EFCC of misrepresenting and suppressing material facts all in a bid to obtain the exparte order.

They say that three conditions, which ought to have been met by the EFCC before bringing the experte motion, were not met and as such the order of forfeiture granted was null and void.

The judge, Justice John Tsoho has now delivered ruling in their favour.

In his ruling, he said, that the ex parte application upon which the interim forfeiture order was sought and obtained was irregular.

OPL 245, considered the richest in Africa, is estimated to contain about 9 billion barrels of crude.

The licence was awarded during the regime of a former military dictator, Sani Abacha, under the supervision of then Minister of Petroleum, Dan Etete.

It was then sold for $1.3 billion in 2011 to Eni and Shell.

According to documents from a British court, Malabu received $1.09 billion from the sale, while the rest went to the Nigerian government. (tv360 Nigeria)

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