An Italian court is set to pass judgment by the end of March on an alleged corruption case involving Royal Dutch Shell and Eni executives which occurred in Nigeria.
At the centre of the legal tussle is the disputed oil prospecting license (OPL) 245, the deal was closed for a whopping $1.3 billion. The parties involved are; Royal Dutch Shell and Eni from Malabu Oil and Gas. Nigeria’s former Minister of Petroleum, Dan Etete had controlling shares in Malabu Oil and Gas.
The federal government received the sum of $210 million as “signature bonus”, while Malabu Oil and Gapocket the rest of the money.
The former petroleum minister through his lawyer, Anthony Secci stated that the deal was legally “perfect” and corruption-free.
According to Reuters, Marco Tremolada, president of the judges handling the case, stated that lawyers for both companies would argue their cases in January 2021, followed by prosecutors and defence attorneys in February.
The news agency reported Tremolada as saying that a final decision would be reached by the end of March.
Prosecutors alleged that the deal is tainted by corrupt practices as $1.1 billion of the money was given as bribe to politicians and intermediaries, with Etete cornering 50 percent of the proceeds of the transaction.