Former minister of petroleum, Dan Etete, has told a British High Court that he is not the owner of Malabu Oil and Gas. He also denied receiving $1.1 billion (N173 billion) transferred to Malabu by the federal government. The money was allegedly paid by oil giants, Shell and Eni on behalf of the federal government to Malabu.
Etete in a testimony he gave on a breach of contract suit brought against him over the sale of the controversial oil block OPL 245, said that he only made N37.5 billion ($250 million) working as a consultant for Malabu.
According to PREMIUM TIMES, which quoted the Economist magazine, Etete is the sole signatory into the bank accounts that the federal government paid about $800 million (N126 billion) of the oil bloc sale into.
However, Mr Etete, who was convicted for money laundering in France in 2007, immediately contradicted himself in the same testimony when he admitted to being the sole signatory to Malabus’ account and couldn’t provide any evidence of other shareholders.
“I put my blood, I put my life into this oil block,” he said; while denying ownership of OPL245. When presented with a transcript of a recording where he said: “It’s my block,” Mr Etete denied it; claiming the transcript was inaccurate.
Malabus’ Etete-appointed company secretary, Rasky Gbinigie, who claimed to be “a family friend” of Mr Etete insisted that he had “lost the firm’s copy of the register of shareholders and all minutes of meetings, that there was no written correspondence between him, the directors and the shareholders, and that he had no documents to verify who put up the company’s original share capital.”
Mr Etete also admitted in the court, what PREMIUM TIMES investigations had revealed, that the infamous Kweku Amafegha, who was named as Malabus’ “nominee director”, was an alias he uses constantly. According to him, he had opened bank accounts in the past that he always used when he went out for secret missions internationally.