The EFCC in its latest notification has given announced that it will soon prefer criminal charges against oil giant, Shell and Agip, as well as other suspects allegedly involved in the $1.1bn Malabu oil scam.
The anti-graft agency gave this indication in an affidavit it filed before a Federal High Court, Abuja, in support of an ex parte application seeking interim forfeiture to the Federal Government, the controversial Prospecting License (OPL 245), which is at the centre of the whole scam.
The OPL 245, an oil field believed to be the largest in Africa with over nine billion barrels of crude, was said to have been fraudulently acquired from the Federal Government by Malabu Oil and Gas Limited in 1998 and afterwards offered to oil giants, Shell and Agip, in a shady shady deal.
Justice John Tsoho, granted the order of interim forfeiture of the OPL 245, shortly after EFCC’s lawyer, Mr. Johnson Ojogbane, moved the ex parte application requesting the order on Thursday.
While moving the application which was dated and filed on January 11, 2017, Ojogbane urged the court to grant the order of interim forfeiture of the oil block “pending the investigation and prosecution” of the suspects named in the scam.
Though, the EFCC had earlier on December 20, 2016, filed charges against some of the suspects, including the immediate past Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, the order obtained by the EFCC on Thursday appeared to have set the stage for prosecution of more suspects.
The additional suspects named in the application were Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited, Shell Nigeria Exploration Limited, Malabu Oil and Gas Limited “and other individuals”.
Ojogbane had told Justice Tsoho that the suspects were being investigated “in connection with acts of conspiracy, bribery, official corruption and money laundering” in connection with the OPL 245 scam.
Nigerians wait with bated breath to see the conclusion of this “big story ”