Child Marriage!!!

By Princewill

Any Attempt To Come For My Sister At Age 13!

Try It!!!

It has become a bit too worrisome for me that we are engaged in the debate over child marriage and I believe it is the same for many who have heard about it. It is sad that underage girls would be robbed of their childhood at the mercy of chauvinistic perverts and pedophiles who claim it’s a cultural or religious thing.

Last week, the Nigerian Senate retained a clause in the law implying that marriages contracted with under-aged girls are permissible; the controversial clause was proposed for deletion before a serving Senator objected on the grounds of religion, and the said senator is known to have contracted such marriages in the past.

I recall a story I had from a friend who as a Youth Corper in Gombe in 2011, had the opportunity to participate in the INEC registration exercise in the 2011 elections and she was to carry out the exercise in a remote village. She said “we had requested that the women in the community come out for registration as the females are always locked indoors not to be seen in public. The men had initially told us that we will have to come to an enclosed place to register their wives which we, my fellow corper and I, out rightly refused. We eventually agreed to register them in a slightly enclosed spot. It was an experience I will never forget in a hurry”.

She continued,”the supposed wives were mostly underage girls and some we were told they were on “probation” for their prospective husbands. We refused to register them as most of them were below the age of 18 but the argument of the village head was that they were married and so they are already adults. Coincidentally, that argument was the exact clause in the constitution that the Nigerian senate voted in favor of its retention”.

She said she recalled seeing some of those young girls with their children. It baffled me to hear that children were already bearing their own children. I remember telling her that if she was born in that village, she would have been a grandmother, which we both laughed over. Sleep had no way through my eyes that night and i just kept telling myself ‘it’s their life’?.

What terrified me the most was that I was told that those young girls were married to very old men who had countable decayed teeth glued to their gums. I looked back at when I was at their age(s); the beautiful thoughts of the married life I dreamt about were in stark contrast to what I witnessed. For me, there is clearly no love and romance in a union involving a 70 year old man and a 12-year old girl? Marriage in these cases was more of an obligation and not out of mutual respect, love and companionship which a marriage ought to be.

Regardless of what the law permits or what culture allows; child marriage is a great abuse and can never be right. I wonder if these law makers have ever thought of the increase in VVF (Vesico Vaginal Fistule), an illness associated with young girls being forced into motherhood. There is no justification for this action by the Senate and there never would. Whether or not the Law endorses child marriage, the society must rise up and defend the cause of these children who are vulnerable to these perverts. We cannot sit by and continue to allow these oppressive actions continue.

The law may have retained a clause that should have been deleted but laws are made for man and not man for the laws. We need to enlighten the public more on the ills of this evil provision and ensure that it is removed. More importantly, parents and the informed society at large, all have a role to play in guarding the future of our daughters and sisters now and those yet unborn.

APC Sneezes, PDP Foundation Crumbles

 

APC-PDP

As soon as NAFDAC approved the prescribed incompatible APC medication for the political migraine, perpetrated by PDP, claiming to be the largest political party in Africa, the political map is changing; PDP has gone berserk, confused, as to the direction of the storm which will extricate the assembled materials in the PDP House of Commons. In the process of PDP reaction to the structure, under construction by the APC, it has gone hysterical by destroying its structure under the disguise of house cleaning through surgical operations of suspending and expelling. In the process of surgical operation on gallbladder stones, the functioning kidney removed by PDP design, leaving the patient with the ailing kidney that could not sustain life.

PDP has been displaying its pitiable approach to the challenges facing the party recently, as reported in the Nigerian print, electronics, and social Media. The suspension and expulsion fever, has taken over the good judgement of the PDP National Working Committee, unfortunately, dislocating its structures. The fever created by APC would continue to hunt PDP; and PDP is not even smart enough to find clever ways of adjusting, and rising up to the challenge.

PDP Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, was almost gone before the PDP Chief Architect, Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, came to his rescue. The allegations levelled against Tukur stemmed from his flagrant violation of the party’s constitution, questionable party membership, to his abdication of constitutional duties and responsibilities, which qualified him for removal. The group piloting the onslaught is not new in the PDP struggles.

The party initially suspended Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State and his Sokoto State counterpart, Aliyu Magatakarda Wammako, for their engagement in anti-party activities. Leadership of PDP on Monday, April 29, 2013, suspended the 27 members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, loyal to Governor Rotimi Amaechi, who is the chair of the controversial Nigeria Governors Forum. The Sokoto State Governor was suspended and about facing expulsion from the party when the ‘hands of Saul and voice of Jacob’ saved him.

In Yobe, the same news caught our attention as Governor Ibrahim Gaidam and other members were suspended.

The PDP will possibly suspend another set of its members, who have constituted themselves as internal opposition. The party is becoming very suspicious of some governors in the name of instilling party loyalty and discipline.

Some suspected members pencilled down to go could be Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed (Kwara) for his loyalty to Senator Bukola Saraki whose loyalty to the Jonathan presidency is seriously in doubt.; and Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta) cosy relationship with his predecessors, Chief James Ibori. Governors Wamakko, Governor Babangida Aliyu (Niger); Governor Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Governor Saidu Usman Dakingari (Kebbi), and Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano); are under the microscope for their opposition to the Jonathan 2015 ambition. Adamawa State Governor, Admiral Murtala Nyako, is a target because of the running battle he has had with the party’s national chair for some time now.

Could the list be part of the projected 14 PDP Governors on the brink of rolling over to APC? Is that a mere propaganda or the reality that PDP is failing to accept?

The simple allegation against the suspension of the PDP members across board is superficially anti-party activities. If that is the yardstick used by the PDP in its suspension fever, what does it has to say to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, a PDP member, making some inciting statements that the country is ready for a revolution; with his “open romance with the APC” as its possible candidate for the 2015 President? That is enough to expel him from the party if not the hypocritical approach to the workings within the PDP.

Because of endemic corruption in the country, coupled with the general estrangement of the people with the ruling elite, Tambuwal thinks that the country is ripe for a revolution despite his hold on the incubator of corruption, the National Assembly. As the Speaker of the House of Representatives, what has he done or what is he doing to prevent the corrupting appetite of an average Nigerian politician? Faruk’s case is still hanging; and non-disclosure of their salaries, and allowances, murky to the public.

PDP’s tornado has landed in Rivers State whereby five members of the House worked on a script to impeach the governor through the Speaker. As mentioned, the axe of suspension fell on the Amaechi’s 27 loyalists in the Rivers State House of Assembly when Amaechi was been rumored as the Vice Presidential candidate for the 2015 elections under Sule Lamido, Jigawa State Governor. That stratagem could scuttle Jonathan chances in the 2015 Presidential elections. Implementing the script, it was chaotic, when on July 9, 2013; five members of the RSHOA ‘impeached’ the Speaker while Amaechi had to personally rescue those loyal to him.

In each location where PDP tornado touched down, with the suspension and expulsion of members, each of the cases has its unique reasons. However, the hay fever within the party is the APC expansionist program, while PDP is in disarray as to how to handle it. It is like the Nigerian medical personnel inability to find solution for malaria.

The storm blowing from the North, found its way to the South West, especially in Ogun State, where the former Governor, Gbenga Daniel, doggedly caged within the PDP, suspended, or expelled from the party. Daniel’s allegation was anti-party activities, for defecting with his loyalists to the Peoples Party of Nigeria prior to the 2011 elections, and for his alleged romance with the Labour Party in the state.

The PDP is seriously in trouble, courtesy of APC. Is the Nigeria ruling PDP a curse in the country with untold hardships and woes, since democracy returned to Nigeria in 1999? Possibly it is time for a strong, virile, committed, principled political party return to the central government.

Most Nigerians have wished to see a mega party to displace PDP, at least, at the centre, which is creating the hysterical atmosphere within the party, maliciously kicking both good and bad members out of the party, disregarding their contributions in building the party within their constituencies, especially in the South-West region. Ironically, Ogun State PDP created the orifice, choreographically staged, for ACN entrance into the corridor of governance without hassle.

There is no amount of Jonathan’s appeal that could help him in the South-West, this time around, the way the PDP is going with the business of suspension and expulsion. In addition, the architects of the PDP successes in the past have been disengaged, rubbished, rejected, publicly humiliated, and unappreciated.

Using the Lagos-Ibadan Express, as a launching pad for the PDP in the South-West, has already met its waterloo. Over 50 per cent of the economic transaction in the country is done between Lagos-Ogun axes through the 35 years old road. PDP has inherited in the South West the witches, demons and wizards that took over the goodies on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

At the time Jonathan was supposed to make a ‘fatherly’ intervention with the public humiliation of the serving governor under his administration, he turned deaf ears to the PDP challenges in Ogun State. After election, he ignored where he was supposed to mend fences for winning the South-West. Unfortunately, Amosun’s recruitment from ANPP to ACN was a pointer to the political vacuum created by the PDP for easy access by the ACN.

Jonathan might be boorishly naive about PDP status in the South-West Region politics. PDP, as a matter of fact, is in the auspice facility in the South-West. It is speedily disappearing as quickly as it came into the region. Regardless, SW Zone is going to be an uphill task is the region, out of reach for the PDP in the 2015 elections.

Once beaten, twice shy! The Obasanjo 2003 ensnare that dislodged the Alliance for Democracy, AD, in the region is a political bitter lesson for the very sophisticated South-West politics; which was believed to have been championed by the immediate-past Ogun State governor, who PDP decided to expel from the party he helped built in the region, to the amazement of the AD. Stylishly, Daniel never stated that he was out of the AD or Afenifere Group, UPN, SDP, or even Labour Party, which he combed together for the PDP in 2013. Daniel is smart enough to still keep his base.

Otunba Daniel /Rotimi Amaechi Nothing would be wrong or demoralizing for Daniel to return to his roots, without much appreciation from PDP, as the party knows no better way of appreciating those who helped it; just as Rotimi Amaechi is seriously finding out the prize for honestly supporting Goodluck Jonathan poll successes in 2011 elections. His case has gone beyond party loyalty.

As posed by some of our readers; by what parameters did they measure Daniel’s involvement with other political parties and by which barometer did they gauge the risks of these involvements to PDP? How would it amount to anti-party activity if Daniel, by his association with other parties, converts their members to PDP for instance, as he did in 2003? If Daniel leaves PDP, how does it strengthen the party? Moreover, he will be leaving with 12 other chieftains suspended with him; where does that leave PDP? Who should be prosecuted for the anti-party crime of weakening the party?

Osun State, as earlier mentioned in some of my pieces, is a no-go area, as Aregbesola has quietly and crudely, like a good farmer, established a very strong hold of the state. In Oyo State, there cannot be a sure way for PDP, as the leaders in the state are not in concert with the rhythmic, as played by the political gadget in the state. PDP in Ekiti is daisy. It has been an unpredictable scenario in Ekiti politics, as no one is sure, where it actually belongs. PDP is recruiting old, discarded, burly members, displaced by Baba Iyabo, towards 2015.

UPN, which has been a good source of a unifying instrument for true Awoists, is coming up and to be displaced by the Accord Party that is eyeing Oyo State. What about the SDP of the latter day saints; that is on the rise?

Mimiko is ensuring the sustainability of the Labour Party (LP) in Ondo State. LP could not be a lone ranger in the South West politics, tailoring his programmes along Awo’s line. There is the need for it to spread its dragnet to get at least one more state to its side in the region in 2015.

Ogun State, with the silenced Awo loyalists, seems to be an easy target for the LP, ready to rock the state. Meanwhile the incumbent governor in might walk into the Lion’s Den with his politically motivated malicious programmes. Instead, for the administration to build on the blueprint of the enabling environment for investment and business growth, developed by the immediate-past administration, he started on the footpath of vengeance.

The shadowy bigger figures that manipulate the strings are the problem of PDP. These are people for whom personal aggrandizement is far more important than the common good of the party and indeed, the nation as a whole. An average Nigerian politician is after what he could get to expand his empire. These megalomaniacs will lead to the fall of PDP in 2015 unless they examine their conscience and change their ways, which could be too late.

As Ogun State PDP executive deliberated, no one was surprised about the outcome, as there is no love lost between Daniel and the trio member of the PDP, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Minister of Commerce and Industry, Jubril Martins-Kuye and party financier, Buruji Kashamu, popularly known as Omo Ilu.

On a serious note, he could be under USA Drone, very soon he could be with ‘Uncle Sam’ he thought he is hiding away from, as the world has become a global village.

Since Baba Iyabo has decided to take the interpretation of an elder statesman approach to mean putting his gear anywhere in the 2015 elections, the last obstacle on Kashamu’s way for the full control of the state is the former governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, who is chicly and quietly minding his business.

The un-biased judges chorused the expulsion of Daniel from PDP, as his continuing stay in the PDP is a threat to their positions, especially the PDP financier, who rode into Ogun politics on Daniel’s horseback. As he gained the inside circle of PDP, he felt it is time for him to take the mantle of PDP leadership in the state. For Kashamu to take full control of the PDP in the state, Daniel has to be rid of from the party completely.

Ogun State, with the former Governor Daniel, might be similar to the suspension of the Gombe State governor; Alhaji Bala Tinka’s offence is a mischief in party affairs and execution of self agenda. He is one of the founding members of the PDP in the state. Coincidentally, he has not been finding it easy in the hands of the elders’ forum of the party, who all seem to be working tirelessly to ensure that he is out of the party, as done to Daniel in Ogun State.

There might be other political parties eyeing Ogun State; the Accord Party, the Unity Party of Nigeria, the Social Democratic Party, and the Labour Party as well. PDP might have sold out its chances in retaking the state with its available raw materials. It is becoming a laughing stock if the educated elites, or could we say the educated illiterates, in the state, continue to relinquish Ogun politics to the woodpeckers, despite their huge human resources advantage in the state.

Ogun State is the first among equals in Nigeria as in Politics, Education, Business, Medical, Entertainment, Arts, Culture, or Literature. Definitely, with the current trend in the state, the uneducated smart, stark, illiterates, whose goals are to amass wealth, would continue to dictate the direction of Ogun politics. Efforts to get the elites to the mainstream of politics in the past, to fill in the gap that the PDP created through the ‘Enemies Within’ as the path to 2011, has failed.

Kwara State is politically inclined to the North, most especially the Middle Belt, which is geographically and historically part of the South West. The colonial partitioning accepted by most Kwarans, as the players in the Kwara politics are not too sure where to be, most Kwarans are not too comfortable with their current situations. ACN attempted to dislodge the PDP in 2011; it met a strong blockade with the stronghold of Kwara politics. His son has been quietly taking political notes from the grassroots to ensure that PDP holds on to the state in 2015. However, where is he with Jonathan? Time may not be on PDP side as another party could aggressively dislodge PDP in the state.

APC is capitalizing on PDP weaknesses, especially in the South West. In reference to a report, PDP could lose to APC in 2015 at least, half of votes in the North-East and another half in the North-Central, meaning about 11.5 per cent, while the North-West and the South-West both controlled 46.3 per cent of the national voting population. The North-West has about 26.9 per cent of the votes, meaning about 19 million votes, while the North East has about 15.8 per cent of the votes which is about 11.6 million votes. The South-West has 19.4 per cent of the national voting population which in real terms translate to about 14.4 million voters.

PDP is losing the South West and the strategic location of Ogun State, as the centre of economic hub, to the socio-economic location, not only to the South West, but to the entire country, making it attractive to another bridegroom. The LP penetrating Ogun State will be an easy target for Mimiko, as PDP has decided to expel the agent of PDP stronghold in the state.

PDP is in a confused state, courtesy of the prescribed APC for the Nigerian nascent democracy migraine. The Institute of Party Loyalty is eroding the democracy ground in Nigeria, with another set stage in Rivers State.

Ajayi is a Professor of Policy, Management and Conflict Resolution, Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State (331)

 

Nigerian CiVil Right MoVement

**POLITICS!** Presidency Makes Official Statement On Rivers Crisis
PRESS STATEMENT BY THE SENIOR SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT [PUBLIC AFFAIRS] ON THE POLITICAL SITUATION IN RIVERS STATE.
… We are compelled to react to the unfolding political drama emanating from recent activities of some Governors from the northern part concerning political developments in Rivers State. These political moves, which are clearly intended to create fear, despair and sense of apprehension among the citizenry are grossly unfounded, misplaced and a deliberate over sensationalization of the situation. We therefore wish to state as follows:
• Insinuations and statements suggesting that Rivers State is on fire are grossly unfounded. So far, as is it evident to every discerning observer of political developments, the state is calm and peaceful. Residents of the state continue to go about their various businesses, religious, social and political activities under peaceful atmosphere. A key pointer to the prevailing peace in the state is the fact that Governor Amaechi, the Chief executive and Chief security Officer of the state, felt confident enough to travel to the United Kingdom on official assignment. It is doubtful he would have had the luxury of leaving the country if his state is in turmoil as is being canvassed.
• The situation in Rivers State is purely a localized political matter and has no dangerous or far reaching consequences for the peace and security of the nation. Since our return to democratic rule in 1999, It is on record that not less than twelve states have witnessed incidents of attempted impeachment of Speakers of Houses of Assembly in Nigeria and none has posed any threat to peace and security in the country even when our democracy was not this established.
• Developments in Rivers State do not pose any threat to our democracy. Our democracy remains robust, alive and well. In politics as in every sphere of human activity, different shades of opinion on issues are not uncommon within the polity but often get resolved either politically or through legal channels. It is therefore disingenuous for anyone to suggest that the political disagreement in Rivers State would imperil and ultimately derail our democracy. We recall that in Ogun State in 2010 after series of sustained fracas and attempts at impeachment and counter impeachment, the Inspector General of Police locked up the House of Assembly for several months. In all that time, nobody in the whole country suggested that the situation was a threat to our nascent democracy, and no state Governor went on any solidarity visit.
• Nigeria is not in any way in disarray. As is the case in every country of the world, there may be conflicts of ideas and interests here and there, which in itself is the beauty of democracy and should not by any means be construed to mean that there is chaos in the country or that Nigeria is tilting towards anarchy as some people have claimed. Nigeria remains peaceful and is not and cannot in any way be threatened by political developments in Rivers State. It is clear that one of the most potent threats to our corporate existence and sovereignty since independence has been the Boko Haram insurgency. This menace has been confronted frontally with strong determination and focus, which has led to decisive action that has brought about the containment of the menace by the Nigerian military and other security agencies. Most reasonable Nigerians would have expected these governors to be deeply concerned and appreciative of the laudable effort of the Federal Government, which has brought reprieve from fear as well as comfort and solace not only to the people of the affected areas but also to the entire nation and international community. Surprisingly, they appear to be more interested in political maneuvering and grandstanding at the expense of the well-being of the people in their states and the stability of the nation at large.
• The Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) issue like the political development in Rivers State remains essentially an affair of the 36 state governors. The outcome of elections in the body is inconsequential to the orderly governance of the Nigerian state by the Presidency. The choice of who becomes leader of the body clearly has no significant ramification on the wider political calculation of who becomes President of the country as events in our recent history bear out. We note that the chairman of the NGF in 2011 was clearly at odds with the President. He contested and lost the party’s presidential primaries to the incumbent President of the country who went ahead to be elected President by the overwhelming majority of Nigeria. It is clear therefore that occupying the chairmanship of the NGF does not in any way confer any political influence or advantage as regards who becomes President of the country neither will it be of any major political significance in the 2015 Presidential race as is being bandied about erroneously.
We therefore admonish Governors having serious issues with their party to take advantage of various channels within the party machinery to resolve it. Also, they may first of all try to show good example of their commitment to peace by working to put their own house in order through restoration of peace and consensus within the NGF. While we note their current political moves, they should be mindful that in all they do as political leaders, they ought to put the interest of the nation and our democracy first. This indeed, is the hallmark of true patriotism. We note with satisfaction and appreciation, the subsequent visit by five governors and two deputy governors including Governor Fayemi, Governor Fashola, Governor Aregbesola, Governor Ajimobi and Governor Amosun, who demonstrated high and commendable sense of patriotism and genuine concern for the nation, with very conciliatory disposition and statesmanlike advise to Governor Amaechi towards finding a lasting solution to the political disagreements between the governor and members of the state’s House of Assembly.
We want to assure Nigerians that the Presidency is not involved in the dispute in Rivers State and will not deliberately engage in any act of destabilization of Rivers State or any state in the country neither is it interested for whatever reason, in destabilization of the NGF. In consonance with the dictates and practice of true federalism and the supremacy of the rule of law, it will be advisable that whatever political entanglements may still exist in Rivers State should be resolved politically or by employing due process of law, in the interest of peaceful co-existence and overall well-being of its citizens.
DOYIN OKUPE SENIOR SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT (PUBLIC AFFAIRS)

OIL DEAL in NIgeria…

“Reuters: UK police probing Shell, ENI Nigerian oil block deal”….some tens of million dollars pocketed by some people now really at risk…..issoray…..

  * Deal concerns multi-billion barrel oil block OPL 245

    * Shell, ENI say they bought from government for $1.3 billion

    * Gov’t then paid $1.09 bln to firm linked to former oil minister Etete

    * Etete had awarded block to the same firm for $2 mln in 1998

    * Court documents show ENI, Shell both negotiated with Etete

Reuters: UK police probing Shell, ENI Nigerian oil block deal – By Tim Cocks – July 24, 2013

    LAGOS, July 24 (Reuters) – British police are investigating a money-laundering allegation related to a big oil field bought by Shell and ENI from Nigeria for $1.3 billion, after most of the cash they paid ended up in a company linked to a former Nigerian oil minister.

    The probe concerns offshore block OPL 245, which industry sources say contains up to 9.23 billion barrels of crude – more than enough to keep China running for two and a half years – the ownership of which had been in dispute for more than a decade.

    “The proceeds of crime unit is investigating a money-laundering allegation in the UK in connection with OPL 245. The investigation is at an early stage,” a UK spokesman said.

    Transparency campaigners, who asked the UK to look into the matter, assert that Shell and ENI used the Nigerian government as a go-between to obscure the fact that they were dealing with former oil minister Dan Etete, who also has a 2007 money-laundering conviction in France related to bribes he was alleged to have taken when in government.

    In his capacity as oil minister, Etete awarded block OPL 245 in 1998 for a payment of just $2 million to Malabu Oil and Gas, a company in which he played a prominent role.

    The critics claim that Shell and ENI, which haven’t been accused of any legal wrongdoing, wanted to distance themselves from Etete given his reputation and his involvement in the original award of the oil block to Malabu.

    A Shell spokesman told Reuters it had purchased the block from the government, making no payment to Malabu, and that it acted transparently and in accordance with Nigerian law.

    ENI declined to comment to Reuters, but it told shareholders in May that the transaction was with the government, not Malabu.

    Reuters was not able to locate Etete for comment. His lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    While Shell and ENI say they bought the block from the Nigerian government, for which they paid it $1.3 billion in 2011, Nigeria says it was helping resolve an ownership dispute over the block between Shell and Malabu and immediately transferred $1.09 billion from the sale to Malabu. The government retained the remainder.

    Etete had awarded the block to Malabu during the rule of military dictator Sani Abacha, whose son Mohammed and other close allies were shareholders in the company. That deal was later annulled after the death of Abacha by a new government that judged the award improper.

    In a UK court case brought by Emeka Obi against Malabu for unpaid fees relating to his help in brokering the Shell/ENI deal, the judge in that case, Justice Elizabeth Gloster, concluded in her ruling last week that “From its incorporation and at all material times … Etete had a substantial beneficial interest in Malabu.”

    Etete said he was only a consultant to the company, but he represented the company in the court case and in all negotiations with the oil majors, and he told the court he was the sole signatory to its accounts.

    Documents relating to Obi’s London case show that both Shell and ENI met several times with Etete to negotiate the deal. An email from a Shell employee to another middleman recounts how he met Etete for face-to-face negotiations over “lots of iced champagne”.

    Obi said in court he approached ENI on Malabu’s behalf on Dec. 24, 2009, and introduced Etete to an ENI representative to discuss the deal.

    THE GO-BETWEEN

    Global Witness campaigner Tom Mayne said: “It’s obvious from the meetings Shell and ENI both had with Dan Etete that they knew he was the person to speak to and then agreed that the deal be structured in such a way that it went through the government.”

    Babatunde Oluajo, national secretary of Zero Corruption Coalition, told Reuters his Nigerian campaign group had asked the UK government to look into the matter.

    “In regard to our … commitment to the fight against corruption in Nigeria … we wish to … formally request for a full investigation into the activities of … companies and individuals in the procurement of the OPL 245 in Nigeria,” reads a letter the group sent to the UK High Commissioner on July 5.

    Nigerian lawmakers also began investigating the deal last week to ascertain if Attorney General Mohammed Aboke, who helped finalise the deal with Eni and Shell, had acted properly, as his involvement only came to light in the London court case.

    Aboke said he was acting in the interests of all parties to facilitate a deal and end the long-running ownership dispute over the oil block. He also said in a press report last week that resolving the dispute would help the government attract investment into the oil and gas sector.

    The investigations highlight the regulatory risks faced by oil companies doing business in African countries with a history of weak governance and endemic corruption.

    In the five years Abacha was in power, he liberally dished out oil blocks to political allies and is suspected of having enriched himself to the tune of about $4 billion before he died.

    Malabu had been registered on April 24th, 1998, five days before Etete awarded it block OPL 245. Three months later, Abacha died.

    Though Malabu’s original shareholders had been Abacha’s son and allies – and Etete himself, according to the British judge in Obi’s court case – the company secretary Rasky Gbinigie told the court he had lost all the documents showing who owned it now.

    The ownership of OPL 245 had also been unclear ever since the government annulled the initial award to Malabu in 2001, and then awarded it first to Shell and then back to Malabu after a series of court cases.

    Shell was still pursuing action to recover the block when it finally struck the deal to buy it with ENI in 2011.

Joe Brock

Nigeria Correspondent

2015

The Governor of Adamawa state, Murtala Nyako, has just told the BBC that “the PDP is dead”.