– Nigeria’s inaction is stalling the process of returning $85million allegedly looted by Dan Etete
– The money was part of an illegal oil deal
– The UK is hoping Nigeria will take the necessary action to claim the fund frozen in a bank
The United Kingdom is “begging” Nigeria to initiate process that will see to the return of $85million allegedly looted by Dan Etete who is a former minister of petroleum.
The Evening Standard of London which is a UK newspaper explained that Nigeria’s failure to send a proceeds-of-crime submission to the judge of a UK court is slowing down the recovery of the fund.
The money is reportedly frozen in NatWest bank account in London.
The money is believed to be part of the proceeds from the award of the licence an oilfield containing an estimated nine billion barrels of crude by the former minister to malabu oil & gas for $20 million.
However, the federal government sold the oil field to Eni after a disagreement between Shell and Malabu over the ownership of the field.
The newspaper said: “Last week, the two governments agreed criminal assets stolen in Nigeria and seized in Britain can be returned to the West African country, but such breakthroughs are rare.
“Buhari’s governing style is also a source of frustration. Critics say he is slow in his decision-making, which allows the EFCC to wallow in indecision.
“Buhari’s critics say his approach means that much-needed funds from corruption cases are not bringing in revenue for an ailing economy ravaged by low oil prices, and the oil blocks themselves are not being developed.”
The Malabu Oil deal resulted in the siphoning off of $1 billion from a $1.3 billion international investment in the oil block through ‘fees’ to Etete’s company and middlemen.
Justice Justice Edi said: “Given the large sums of money involved that are effectively paid to a former minister to a bank account in the Middle East, the whole exercise is backed by murky instructions.”
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s ex-first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan cried out over her $31.4 million being tied down by the EFCC.
The Guardian reports that the account is being fingered as one of those involved in an alleged fraud case before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos but Mrs Jonathan’s counsel, Gboyega Oduwole has filed a case before the court, informing that his client is unhappy with the EFCC over the recent move to freeze the account.