How Ex-Minister Dan Etete Shared $1.3b Malabu Oil Proceeds – Witness

…Claims Etete, Others Forged Board Resolution To Alter Company’s Ownership

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday heard how former Petroleum Minister, Dan Etete (aka Chief Duazia Loya Etete) allegedly shared among his associates the $1.300,000,000.00 from the sale of OPL 245 owned by Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd.

An official of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Ahmed gave details of how the proceeds from the sale was transferred from JP Morgan into Malabu’s accounts with First Bank and BankPHB (now Keystone Bank) and subsequently transferred to various companies’ accounts.

Ahmed identified some of the beneficiary companies to include those owned by Abuja businessman, Aliyu Abubakar.

The EFCC official spoke while testifying as a prosecution witness in the trial of Abubakar and seven companies accused of benefiting from the allegedly diverted proceeds of the OPL245 sale.

Other defendants in the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/268/2016 are Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd, A. Group Construction Company Ltd, Rocky Top Resources Ltd, Megatech Engineering Ltd, Novel Properties and Development Company Ltd, Imperial Union Ltd and Carlin International Nigeria Ltd.

The witness claimed that some board resolutions were forged to alter the actual ownership of Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd.

Led in evidence by EFCC’s lawyers, Offem Uket, Ahmed said: “Again, in 2010 another purported board resolution was filed in Corporate Affairs Commission by one Bar Ayo Ademola.

‘The documents filed by Ademola suggested that the initial directors have resigned their directorship and their shares in which Joseph Amara and Seisougha Munamuna were appointed as directors not minding the changes earlier made.

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“When the documents were filed with the Corporate Affairs Commission, having them discovered that those documents were forged, the Corporate Affairs Commission returned the Company to status guo.

“Similarly, the second step was to identify the bank accounts owned by Malabu Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited and the investigating team discovered that Malabu Oil and Gas have two accounts which are domiciliary accounts domiciled at First Bank and former Bank PHB and the only signatory to the accounts was Chief Duazia Loya Etete.

“After analysis of the statement of account, we discovered that the account of Malabu Oil and Gas Limited domiciled with Keystone Bank (formerly Bank PHB) on the 24th August, 2011 received the sum $400,000,000.00 from the JP Morgan.

“On the 6th day of September 2011, Chief Dan Etete alias Chief Duazua Etete fraudulently, transferred the sum of $334,546,000.00 to Rocky Top Resources account domiciled with the same Keystone Bank.

“On the 24 day of September, 2013, another sum of $75,000,000.00 were transferred to the same Malabu Oil and Gas Limited account with Keystone Bank out of which $74,000,000.00 and some fractions. Same was transferred to the Rocky Top Resources account but only $73,000,000.00 and some fractions got into the account.

“Similarly, on the said 24th August, 2011, another sum of $401,540,000.00 was transferred to Malabu Oil and Gas Limited account with First Bank from J. P. Morgan.

“On the 29th August, 2011, Chief Duazia Loya Etete transferred the sum of $157,000,000.00 into the account of A Group Construction Company Limited.
“On the same 29th August, 2011, Chief Etete again transferred the sum of $180,000,000.00 to the Megatech Engineering Ltd.

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“On the same 29th August, 2011 the same Chief Etete transferred the sum of $34,540,000.00 to Novel Properties and Development Limited.

“On the 2nd day of September, 201, he transferred another sum of $30,000,000.00 to Novel Property and Development Limited,” he said.

On the account with First Bank, he said his team “discovered that A Group Construction received $157,0 0,000.00 from Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, Megatech Engineering received $180,000,000.00 from Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd.
“Furthermore, Novel Property received $34,540,000.00 and also $30,000 000.00 from Malabu Oil and Gas Limited.

“On further studying of the account opening documents of MegaTech Engineering and, A Group Censtruction Company, it was discovered that Aliyu Abubakar (the 8th defendant) is the signatory to the accounts.

“Investigation discovered that before the transfer to Rocky Top Resources, Aliyu Abubakar has interest in the company. When the money came in, he sold the company and introduced Chief Dan Etete as the sole signatory of the account,” the witness said.

He told the court how Abubakar volunteered statements and the prosecution was at the point of determining the statements when the defence team including Woke Olanipekun (SAN), Olalekan Ojo (SAN), Joshua Musa (SAN) and others objected on the grounds that the statements were not made voluntarily.

Ring, Justice Inyang Ekwo elected to conduct trial-within-trial to ascertain the voluntariness or otherwise of the statements.

Justice Ekwo then adjourned till October 24.

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