The Federal High Court, Abuja, has ordered the interim forfeiture of Oil Prospecting License (OPL 245) to the Federal Government pending investigation and prosecution of suspects in the $1.1bn Malabu Oil scam.

Justice John Tsoho granted the order following an ex-parte motion filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) through its counsel, Mr Johnson Ojogbane.

The property is to be managed by the Department of Petroluem Resources on behalf of the federal government, pending the conclusion of investigation and prosecution of all those involved.

Ojogbane, in the application, urged the court to grant the order pending the investigation and prosecution of the suspects.

The other suspects named in the application are Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited, Shell Nigeria Exploration Limited, Nigeria Agip Exploration Ltd and other individuals.

The EFCC counsel in the motion noted that the investigation bordered on alleged acts of conspiracy, bribery, official corruption and money laundering.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the EFCC had in December 2016, charged nine suspects, including the former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke, over the issue.

Adoke was accused of illegally transferring more than $800 million purportedly meant for the purchase of the OPL 245 to Etete, Malabu Oil.

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