Nigeria oil corruption case started 2 years ago
An English court dismissed a $1.1 billion Nigeria oil corruption case the country had filed against oil multinationals, Royal Dutch Shell and Eni, linked to a row over the OPL 245 oilfield, as shown by a document on Friday.
The Nigeria oil corruption case started two years ago at a commercial court in London after the government alleged payments made by the companies to get the OPL 245 oilfield permit in 2011 were used for kickbacks and bribes.
Justice Butcher in his ruling on the Nigerian oil corruption case as reported by Reuters declared that the High Court, “must decline jurisdiction over the action against” the accused companies.
After the ruling on Friday, 22nd May 2020, a Shell spokesperson affirmed that the company embraced the decision of the court. “We maintain that the 2011 settlement…related to OPL 245 was a fully legal transaction with Eni and the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), represented by the most senior officials of the relevant ministries,” she said. In a similar manner, Eni, though not quoted maintained that deals had with the Nigerian government were clean.
However, a spokesman for Nigeria reiterated that it was “naturally disappointed the Court has declined jurisdiction over its civil suit.”
“Nigeria continues to support the criminal proceedings underway in Milan and maintains that the separate civil proceedings in London have an entirely different legal basis…we intend to seek permission to appeal this decision,” the spokesman said.
The Nigerian oil corruption case is linked to another OPL 245 oilfield trial of corruption in Milan in the former and present officials of Shell and Eni respectively are on the Bench. There are also court proceedings, which Nigeria began against a financial institution JP Morgan, which handled some of the payments in question.
The bank has said it terms the allegations against it, “unsubstantiated and without merit.”
The Shell spokesperson said that based on the company’s review of the Prosecutor of Milan’s file, it believes there was no basis for a Nigerian oil corruption case lawsuit in the first place.
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