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July 10, 2024

OML 245 ownership dispute:  Withdraw ultimatum to Lokpobiri, group tells Abacha family

OML 245 ownership dispute:  Withdraw ultimatum to Lokpobiri, group tells Abacha family

By Emma Amaize

VANGUARD for Transparent Leadership and Democracy, VATLAD, an anti-corruption group, has asked the family of the former military Head of State, the late General Sani Abacha to apologise to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Heneiken Lokpobiri, over the misdirected ultimatum issued the minister.

National President of VATLAD, Igbini Emmanuel, told reporters in Warri, Delta State, that the Abacha family misfired by giving Lokpobiri an ultimatum, following a dispute over ownership of the Malabu OML 245 crude oil block.

He said: “The family of the late General Abacha, reportedly, issued an ultimatum to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources on July 5  to withdraw a recent public comment purportedly made by him over alleged yet-to-be resolved legal dispute over the ownership of the petroleum-rich offshore block OML 245, which the family still lay claim to.

“While we do not object to the continued claim of the ownership of this petroleum block by the family of General Abacha, which said the case was still pending before the court, against Dr. Lokpobiri’s purported declaration that the dispute has finally been settled out of court, paving the way for interested investors to invest in the block.

“We must hasten to say that the family of General Abacha were ill-advised and misdirected in that ‘First, Dr. Lokpobiri is not the substantive Minister of Petroleum Resources of Nigeria and, therefore, has no constitutional power to decide ownership or otherwise of this OML 245.

“To this extent, his public comment, whether in favour of the family of General Abacha or against the family, will be of no consequence and no effect whatsoever.

“For the record, the incumbent substantive Minister of Petroleum Resources is President Bola Tinubu, who has the constitutional power to make a declaration on ownership or otherwise of licences and leases of petroleum in Nigeria.”