In 2011, the Nigerian government brokered a $1.3 billion deal between Royal Dutch Shell, Eni S.p.A. of Italy and Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd of Nigeria forone of Africa’s richest oil fields (“OPL 245”). The transaction — finalised after thirteen years of mutual suspicion, bitter litigation, emotional blackmail and dirty intrigues — has caught global attention and attracted criminal proceedings. The middlemen are now in jail and officials of the international oil companies are facing trial in an Italian court over alleged corruption.
Mohammed Bello Adoke was the Nigerian Attorney-General who gave the legal advice on the complicated transaction. He saved his country from an impending $2 billion award in favour of Shell by the International Centre for the Settlement of International Disputes (ICSID), an organ of the World Bank. But he has been hounded, victimised, scandalised and forced into exile for his service to his fatherland.
In recounting his five-year experience in government, Bello Adoke reveals the details of the billion-dollar oil deal and unveils the web of local and international intrigues, deceit, lies and conspiracy around an avoidable scandal.