The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been urged to seize a private jet owned by a former Nigerian minister of petroleum, Dan Etete.
Four international anti-corruption crusaders made the appeal Thursday in a joint petition sent from Italy calling for the retrieval and forfeiture of the jet by the Nigerian government.
The crusaders include the Chairman, Human Resource Development Centre (HEDA), Olanrewaju Suraju; Corner House Director, Nick Hildyard; Re:Common Director, Antonio Tricarico; and the Co-founder of Global witness, Simon Taylor. The anti-corruption crusaders attended court proceedings surrounding the controversial oil block in Milan recently.
According to the global corruption crusaders, the private jet owned by Mr Etete was purchased with illicit funds. The jet is said to be worth $56 million as at the time it was purchased.
The Malabu scandal involved the transfer of about $1.1 billion by oil multinationals, Shell and ENI, through the Nigerian government to accounts controlled by Mr Etete.
From accounts controlled by Mr Etete, about half the money ($520 million) went to accounts of companies controlled by Abubakar Aliyu, popularly known in Nigeria as the owner of AA oil.
Anti-corruption investigators and activists suspect he fronted for top officials of the Goodluck Jonathan administration as well of officials of Shell and ENI.
The transaction was authorised in 2011 by Mr Jonathan through some of his cabinet ministers and the money was payment for OPL 245, one of Nigeria’s richest oil blocks.
Although Shell and ENI initially claimed they did not know the money would end up with Mr Etete and his cronies, evidence has shown that claim to be false.
*With more reports by Premium Times NG