How Ex-oil minister Dan Etete siphoned $ 1 bn of Nigeria oil money   

25 September 2018 : A case related to the 2011 offshore oilfield purchase has finally come to an end, with the two defendants :a Nigerian man, Emeka Obi, and an Italian middleman, Di Nardo being sentenced to Jail over a $1.1 billion Malabu oil fraud. The Milan court sentenced the two corrupt defendants to four years of imprisonment.The court passed the judgment to seize $98.4 million from Obi and more than 21 million Swiss francs ($21.9 million) from Di Nardo.

During the court case, the prosecution posed allegations that Obi had received a mandate from former Nigerian oil minister Dan Etete to seek a buyer for OPL 245, collecting $114 million. The Italian guy, Nardo took $24 million of that amount for putting Obi in touch with Eni. So, basically, this huge scam was being operated Dan Etete while Obi and Nardo were mere pawns in the grand scheme of things.

This oil deal was struck in 2011, during the reign of President Jonathan where Nigerian government stood as a negotiator in the controversial sale of OPL 245 oil block in offshore Nigerian waters by energy companies Eni and Shell.


Dan Etete, Nigeria’s ex-petroleum minister, who was previously charged for money laundering in France was paid $ 1.1 billion by the two international oil mammoths Royal Dutch Shell and Italian Agip-Eni. This investigation had roped in quit a few big names in the Nigerian government. 

The OPL 245 oilfield contained about 9 billion barrels of crude oil. In 1998, Dan Etete gave the $ 20 million license to a fraud company: Malabu Oil and Gas.(the company had no assets or employees). Fast forwards two years later, Shell and Malabu fight a course case for the ownership of the oilfield. Eventually, the Nigerian government sells the oilfield to End and Shell for $ 1.09 bn, but the money gets routed to Malabua and Nigeria only “retains” $ 207 million ( signature bound paid by Shell ). The “ missing” $ 1 bn then gets channeled to bank accounts in London, Switzerland and other countries. 

Lets look at some Fun Facts:

  1. The $ 1 Bn scammed is equivalent to 80% of Nigeria’s health budget
  2. This investigation is a worldwide affair extending to UK, Italy and Nigeria.
  3. Obviosly, Since so many government officials are involved, case files have been found incomplete or missing
  4. The offshore accounts are allegedly controlled by Malabu, Etete and 5 other  Nigerian Companies.
  5. Etete’s $ 85 million frozen in a NatWest Bank account in London is meandering through Uk courts.


The main hearing of the court case involving Eni, Shell and 13 people is set for September 26, 2018.

Reporting for EasyKobo on Tuesday , 25 September 2018 in Lagos, Nigeria

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