The office of the former Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, has said the Minister was never involved in any scheme reported to have resulted in the transfer of interest in Malabu (OML 245), describing the claim as totally false and completely misleading.
The Media Adviser to Aganga, who was Special Adviser to the Minister on Communications and Strategy, Yemi Kolapo, said in a statement on Thursday that he was Minister in charge of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment from July 2011 to May 2015, noting that at no time was the Minister of Petroleum or the Ministry involved in any negotiations with anyone on the controversial Malabu deal.
Kolapo said: “The attention of the Office of the former Minister of Finance, and former Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, has been drawn to a newspaper article, which claimed that Olusegun Aganga, and two other Ministers were ‘involved in a scheme that resulted in the transfer of interest in Malabu (OML 245).’ This claim is totally false and completely misleading.
“Olusegun Aganga was the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment from July 2011 to May 2015 and at no time was he or the Ministry involved in any negotiations, scheme or discussions with anyone on Malabu. It is simply out of the remit of the Ministry.
“Olusegun Aganga was also the Minister of Finance from April 2010 to May 2011. Again, at no time was he or the Ministry of Finance involved in any negotiations, valuation of the oil well or in the determination of the signature bonus or any other payment on Malabu.”
According to the statement, in the normal course of the work of the Ministry of Finance, the ministry is required to approve the opening of bank accounts by any Government Ministry or Agency.
The statement said: “Such requests are approved, based on the advice of the Accountant General of the Federation. There are laid down procedures for this approval process.
“Based on the information made available to the public, the Malabu transaction actually took place in August 2011 when Olusegun Aganga was already the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment. It would have been impossible for him to be involved in any negotiations or scheme or in advising the President on a matter, which completely falls outside the remit of the Ministry.”