The Swiss National Bank
Several bank accounts linked to the controversial Malabu Oil deal transacted in Nigeria years ago between the Nigerian Government, Malabu Oil, and Gas / Eni Petroleum, and Shell Petroleum is under scrutiny as the Swiss government has ordered all bank accounts linked to the transaction frozen until the determination of a corruption case preferred against officials of Eni and Shell in an Italian court.
Nigerian and Italian prosecutors have accused both Eni the Italian oil firm and Shell the Anglo-Dutch oil giant of corruption and unethical dealings in their acquisition of OPL 245 acquire earlier on by a Nigerian oil company Malabu Oil in which a time former Petroleum Minister under Sanni Abacha, Chief Dan Etete has considerable interest.
Dan Etete with shell and Eni Logo
The Swiss government is said to have blocked three accounts operated in Lugano, Basel and Geneva linked to the infamous oil transaction. However, no further information was given as to the identity of the owners or the value or net worth of each account. The office of the Swiss Attorney General acknowledged that these accounts have been blocked at the request of the Italian prosecutors as they try to unravel the underhand dealings in the acquisition of the Nigerian oil block OPL 245.
More than 15persons directly and indirectly linked to the transaction are under the probe of the Italian government. They include Mr. Descalzi and Mr. Scaroni of Eni Oil, two former top Shell Petroleum managers, Former Nigerian Petroleum Minister Dan Etete, Former Attorney General of the Federation Bello Adoke and 11 other persons consisting of advisers and middlemen.
Also being probe are the two oil giants Eni and Shell who are listed as a corporate defendant in the investigation. The duos have denied any wrongdoing expressing confidence that the oil companies and the individuals accused will be exonerated at the end.
The Malabu oil deal is a murky financial web deal involving the former Attorney-General of the Federation Mohammed Bello Adoke, Former Petroleum Minister under General Sanni Abacha, Chief Dan Etete as well as the immediate past Minister of Petroleum Mrs. Allison Madueke.
It concerned the controversial sale of oil block OPL 245 acquired under controversial and dubious circumstances by Malabu Oil and then sold to Shell Petroleum, Agip-Eni. Malabu Oil and Gas is believed to be owned by Etete who set it up and used it to acquire the controversial oil block when he was the Petroleum Minister.
In the initial deal, Malabu Oil was said to have paid only a paltry sum of $2 Million dollars instead of $20 Million for the acquired oil block license OPL 245.
When the government of President Good luck Jonathan wanted to revoke and seized the oil block from Malabu oil, Etete now the arrowhead of the company hurriedly arranged a sale of the oil block to shell and Agip-Eni for $1billion dollars and was able to get Jonathan, Diesanni, and Adoke to approve the sale.