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AFX News: Shell denies 3.2 bln usd fraud claims by Nigerian parliament

LONDON (AFX) – Shell Petroleum Development Co has denied accusations by Nigeria’s House of Representatives that the oil group ‘underpaid’ the government around 3.2 bln usd.

Royal Dutch Shell PLC owns 30 pct of SPDC, while state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp controls 55 pct. France’s Total SA and Italy’s Agip hold the remaining 10 pct and 5 pct, respectively.

The lower house is currently looking into allegations that SPDC ‘underpaid’ Nigeria 3.2 bln usd in respect to the crude oil it extracted there in 2000.

In a statement issued by Shell in London, SPDC said it ‘conducts its business in compliance with relevant regulations and laws.’

‘Accounts and transactions were subjected to annual audits by our joint venture partners as provided for in the joint operating agreement during the period in question, and no wrongdoing was found,’ it said.

Nigerian legislators on Wednesday issued a subpoena to compel Edmund Daukoru, the petroleum minister, to appear before a parliamentary committee probing the alleged scam.

Daukoru had refused to honour an earlier invitation by the panel.

The committee demanded that ‘appropriate sanctions’ be imposed on Daukoru for ‘aiding SPDC and deliberately refusing to appear before the committee.’

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