From Yusuf Alli, Abuja
Former Niger Delta Affairs Minister Godsday Orubebe’s wife Maureen, has been grilled by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over a N500 million deal linked to the $1.092 billion Malabu Oil Block scandal.
Mrs. Orubebe is also being investigated for alleged money laundering.
She was alleged to have bought three assets from the company of one of the suspects on trial over the Malabu Oil Block Settlement Agreement.
The assets were alleged to be part of those which over $523 million (out of $1.06b) was used for.
Investigation showed that the two properties valued at over N360 million, are located in Maitama and Katampe districts of Abuja.
Mrs. Orubebe allegedly paid N360 million to a firm, A. A. Oil which had been under probe by the anti-graft agency.
It was learnt she could not account for how she came about N360 million as a housewife.
A source at the anti-graft agency said: “Following the tracking of over $523million out of the $1.092 billion Malabu Oil Block cash by our investigators, it was discovered that part of it was used to acquire choice properties by one of the suspects implicated in the Settlement Agreement deal.
“In the process of tracing some of these assets, our operatives uncovered how two were sold to Mrs. Orubebe, who claimed to be a housewife.
“When we invited her, she said she had been into property business and that she sold a house in Apo District for N100million whose proceed she used to buy a duplex on Panama Street in Maitama.”
The source added: “We have grilled her but because of COVID-19, we released her on bail.”
The OPL245 is an offshore oil block with about nine billion barrels of crude.
It was auctioned for $1.3 billion (about 1.1 billion euros).
Although the Federal Government received only $210 million as Signature Bonus, about $1.092 billion was traced to a London bank account which was suspected to be slush funds allegedly used to bribe some middle men and politicians in the country.
A former President was accused of benefiting about $200 million as proceeds from the Malabu oil deal.
About $523 million out of the $1.092 billion paid for the block was shared out as bribes to some former ministers and politicians.