The latest revelations from an Italian court that all the parties involved in the OPL 245/Malabu affair were corrupt sums up the 16-year misrule of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), according to the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO)
It said in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, that the prosecutor’s position is a fitting description of PDP’s governance at an international stage.
“We are not really surprised that Sergio Spadaro, the Italian deputy prosecutor, told a Milan court prosecuting Shell and Eni over the OPL 245/Malabu affair,  that all parties involved in the deal were corrupt.
“That he went ahead to list former President Goodluck Jonathan, Dan Etete-who allocated OPL 245 to Malabu Oil and Gas, a company in which he had interest as minister of petroleum in 1998, and Diezani Alison-Madueke, Jonathan’s petroleum minister at the time the $1.3bn deal was consummated, as people with long-standing relationship, is a telling account of how Nigeria was run and nearly ruined in the PDP-era.
“Nigerians now know that the list of those said to have benefitted from the national heist also included senior officials across all PDP administrations, like former Attorneys-General Mohammed Adoke and Bayo Ojo, as well as former Minister of Defense and ex-National Security Adviser, Aliyu Gusau, according to court papers.
“It is a confirmation of the unbridled sleaze that characterized the period, or how else can anyone describe a situation where $1.3bn was paid for an oil block which is believed to have 560 million barrels of oil, but over a billion dollars was shared as bribes and kickbacks to top government officials and their cronies?
“If there is anything that can be used as a signpost for the corruption tendencies of the PDP years, and how the world viewed the Nigerian government at the time, it is this scandal.
“We recall that it was so bad that the international media reported in 2019 that ‘the amount allegedly meted out as bribes amounted to more than the entire 2018 healthcare budget of Nigeria, where 87 million people lived in extreme poverty’.
“So if there is any evidence of what PDP stood for in government, this is it”, the group added.
BMO argued that President Muhammadu Buhari can never be linked to any arrangement that would see prosecutors describe all the parties involved as corrupt.
“There is simply no way that this President could hold a series of meetings with people bent on ripping the nation off. Neither would he be seen issuing directives like the one that former Attorney-General Mohammed Adoke said he got, to push through the Malabu deal.
“Nigerians have seen how President Buhari entered into several government-to-government arrangements with the US, China and Germany on things ranging from infrastructure development to outright purchase of military hardware.
“This is not a President that would sit down with unscrupulous local and international business crooks and proceed to discuss as well as sanction bribes and kickbacks”.
The group also reassured Nigerians that the Buhari administration will ensure that justice is served in the OPL 245 transaction which, according to ‘Global Witness’, would deprive the country of $6bn in future revenue.