Malabo Oil Scam: Shell, Agip ask court to nullify forfeiture order

Federal High CourtShell Nigeria Exploration and Nigeria Agip Exploration have asked the Federal High Court, Abuja, to discharge the order of forfeiture on OPL 245 granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Justice John Tsoho on January 26 granted an order of interim forfeiture of Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL 245) to the Federal Government pending investigation and prosecution of suspects in the $1.1 billion Malabu oil scam.

At the resumed hearing of the matter on Tuesday, the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Johnson Ojogbane, told the court that he was unable to respond to the two applications filed by the applicants on the matter.

Ojogbane said his inability was, “due to circumstances beyond our control.”

He applied for an adjournment to enable the prosecution to respond to the two applications.

Counsel to Shell, Prof. Olaniwun Ajayi (SAN), told the court that he has filed two applications on the matter.

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Ajayi said the first application was seeking the discharge, dismissal or striking out of the order of forfeiture to the federal government which the court made pending the conclusion of the matter.

The second, he said, prayed for an order staying or suspending the effects of the interim order made in favour of the EFCC, directing that OPL 245 be managed by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) NAN