1.1BIL DOLLAR MALABU OIL SCAM: STAR WITNESS TESTIFIES IN ITALY

Kayode Oyero

The corruption trial of Shell & Eni is ongoing in Milan, Italy, where the court hears from a last-minute star witness, an online Italian newspaper, Valori.it, has reported.

The Palace of Justice in Milan, Italy, had asked Italian prosecutors to produce a Nigerian ‘super witness’ who is a retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Isaac Eke, in the ongoing probe of the $1.1bn Malabu oil scandal.

Eke was brought up by defendant Vincenzo Armanna, former Eni manager, who became one of the main accusers of the current CEO Descalzi and the other managers.

Regarded as one of the biggest corporate corruption scandals in history, the Malabu oil scandal involved the transfer of about $1.1bn by oil giants Shell and Eni through the Federal Government to accounts controlled by a former Minister of Petroleum, Mr Dan Etete.

Shell and Eni were said to have given the bribes in a bid for OPL 245, one of Nigeria’s richest oil blocks. The oil block’s reserves were estimated to be 9.23 billion barrels of crude oil.

Since the trial of the deal commenced, some of the oil giants’ most senior executives have been in the dock, after being accused of massive corruption.

Eke, a graduate of Political Science from the University of Benin, Edo State, served as an area commander in Benin City, Edo State, and a commissioner of police in Ondo State.

He was in charge of Training, Force Headquarters, Abuja, and served with the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad.

In July 2016, he was promoted to the rank of Assistant Inspector-General of Police by the Police Service Commission.

During the build-up to the governorship election in Edo State in 2016, Eke was deployed as the AIG in charge of Zone 5, Benin City, following the redeployment of his predecessor, Kolawole Shodipo, to the Force headquarters.

Eke, however, retired from service in the same year. The event held at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City.