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$1.09b Malabu Oil deal: EFCC seeks arrest warrant to extradite ex-Minister Etete, others

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THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has asked the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory for a warrant of arrest to enable it extradite a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dauzia Loya (Dan) Etete and two others.

The  others are Munamuna Seidougha and Amaran Joseph.

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The anti-graft agency has preferred charges against the three suspects before the High Court over the $1.09billion Malabu Oil Block (OPL 245) Settlement Agreement.

The EFCC alleged that Rasky Gbinigie, Munamuna Seidougha (at large), Amaran Joseph sometime in 2013, in Abuja “dishonestly used as genuine the forged form CAC 7 and Board Resolution of Malabu Oil and Gas Limited and the letter of resignation of one Mohammed Sani, which they then knew to be forged  documents, to open a bank account No. 2018288005 to receive $401,540,000.00 .

It also said Rasky Gbinigie, Munamuna Seidougha (at large), Amaran Joseph (at large) and Dauzia Loya Etete (at large), sometime in 2013, in Abuja, “dishonestly used as genuine the forged form CAC 7 and Board Resolution of Malabu Oil and Gas Limited and the letter of resignation of one Mohammed Sani, which they then knew to be forged, documents to open a Bank Account No. 3610042472 to receive $400,540,000.00 (Four Hundred Thousand United States Dollars).

According to an ex parte application before the court by EFCC legal team, comprising Bala Sanga, Aliyu Yusuf, Offem Uket, M.S. Abubakar and H.S. Shehu, the suspects have been residing in France.

EFCC also said the suspects were occasionally sighted in different parts of Europe.

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The anti-graft agency pleaded with the court to issue a warrant of arrest,  which is a pre-condition for the extradition of the suspects.

The trial judge, Justice A.I. Kutigi of the FCT High Court in Gwagwalada, has not fixed a date for the hearing of the ex parte motion.

An affidavit sworn to by an Investigating Officer, Ibrahim Ahmed said Etete and others are wanted because they are part of the brains behind  Malabu Oil and Gas Limited.

The affidavit reads in part: “That I know as a fact and I verily believe that the investigation of the Malabu Oil and Gas: Limited matter disclosed a prima facie commission of offence by the respondents among others.

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“That I know  as a fact which I verily believe that our investigation has revealed the following:

“The respondents (mentioned in counts 14, 15, 16, 17 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, and 421 of Charge No: CR/151/2020 and indicated to be at large) are still at large and intelligence report indicates that they reside in France and occasionally in some other countries.

“That the respondents are part of the brains behind  Malabu Oil and Gas Limited.

“That Malabu Oil and Gas Limited are defendants in the current Charge No: CR/151/2020 and facing multiple counts of charges for forgery and use of forged documents.

“That as part of the directing minds of Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, they should stand trial and answer to charges of influencing and aiding the companies to breach extant criminal laws.

“That I was informed by the Prosecuting Counsel, Bala Sanga on the 21st day of January, 2020 that part of the requirements for the arrest and extradition of the respondents from Europe or indeed from any part of the world is the issuance of a warrant of arrest by this Honourable Court. That it will serve the interest of justice to grant this application.

The written address attached to the application gave more legal  insights into why the three suspects should be extradited.

It reads in part: “This is a motion ex parte brought pursuant to sections 3, 35, 36 and 37 of the Administration of Criminal  Justice Act, 2015 (ACJA) seeking for the issuance of a warrant of arrest against the respondents who are mentioned in Charge No: FHC/ABJ/CR/239/19 and indicated therein to be at large. The application is supported by an eight (8) paragraph affidavit, with one exhibit which the applicant relies on.

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