Nigeria's lower house committee to probe OPL 245 oil block deal

ABUJA, April 12 (Reuters) - THNigeria’s lower house of parliament has set up a committee to investigate the circumstances surrounding the award of oil prospecting licence (OPL) 245, the committee chairman said on Wednesday.

The House of Representatives mandated the committee to “conduct a thorough examination of the process and circumstances surrounding OPL 245 and identify culpability of any persons, groups or organisations,” committee chairman Razak Atunwa said in an emailed statement.

The statement said former President Goodluck Jonathan could be invited to give evidence. Courts in Nigeria and Italy are investigating the purchase of the offshore block which was initially awarded in 1998 to Malabu Oil and Gas, in a disputed deal, before Royal Dutch Shell and Eni were awarded the rights in 2011.

Reporting by Camillus Eboh; writing by Alexis Akwagyiram, editing by David Evans