The Federal Government has assigned some lawyers in its teams of special prosecutors to review the multi-billion naira Halliburton and Malabu scams.
The move is said to be part of the Federal Government’s renewed efforts to re-open the cases.
The team of prosecutors, sources told Punch on Wednesday, were expected to review the cases and advise the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, on the way forward on the cases.
One of the sources was quoted as saying that, “There are basic things expected from the prosecutors.
“The lawyers may advise that investigation should start afresh on both cases. They may recommend further investigations to fill in the gaps.
“They may even advise the AGF that there is sufficient evidence to proceed with the suspects named in the cases and recommend the appropriate charges against them.
“I cannot tell when the group of lawyers will be through with their review but I can assure you that work is ongoing on it.”
The Executive Secretary of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, had said at a press conference on Monday that PACAC had intervened in resuscitating some otherwise dead high-profile corruption cases such as the Halliburton and Malabu scams.
“Malabu, Halliburton, and other cases are not going to die. They will be reopened,” Owasanoye said.
But a member of the National Prosecution Coordination Committee, in which Owasanoye is a member, said assigning the cases to the lawyers for review was the first step taken after the PACAC’s intervention.
“The cases involve various ministries and agencies of government.
“So the lawyers will first have to fetch the files and other pieces of information from the various government bodies in order for them to make informed recommendation to the AGF,” the source said.
The Malabu Oil scam involved alleged payment of about $1.1bn to Malabu Oil and Gas for alleged fraudulent procurement of one of Nigeria’s richest oil fields, Oil Prospecting Licence 245 by some foreign companies.