*We’ve deposited cash with CBN —Malami
*FG signs new pacts with 6 countries to block looting of funds
By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
Although the Nigerian Government is yet to prosecute and convict many individuals and entities involved in the alleged monumental fraud running into billions of Naira in the controversial Oil Prospecting Lease 245, the United Kingdom has returned the sum of $73 million seized in connection with the fraud to the Nigerian Government.
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However, the name of the individual or the company the cash was recovered from has not been named at the moment, even as the money has been received in Nigeria. According to a document made available to Saturday Vanguard by the Attorney General of the Federation, the money was part of the questionable proceeds from the sale of OPL 245 by Malabu Oil and Gas Company to ENI/Shell.
The Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, confirmed in the document he made available to Saturday Vanguard that the cash had already been received and paid into the Central Bank of Nigeria. “The Commercial Court in the UK ordered a pay out of the sum of over $73 million with interest to the Nigerian Government, this being part of the proceeds from the sale of OPL 245 by Malabu Oil and Gas Company to ENI/SHELL.
“The said sum has also been received and deposited with the Central Bank,” the minister said.
The repatriation comes as the Federal Government has taken major steps to block the looting of funds into or out of the country by corrupt elements.
Accordingly, the government has signed memoranda of understanding and bilateral agreements with the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Italy to ensure that funds looted to those climes are promptly returned and vice versa.
Malami also said that the government was making international recovery efforts to cover other countries such as the United States, Ireland, Island of Jersey and France.
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