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Nigeria: ENI Kicks As Govt Demands U.S.$1.1 Billion Advance From Shell, Italian Giant in OPL 245 Case

Nigeria: ENI Kicks As Govt Demands U.S.$1.1 Billion Advance From Shell, Italian Giant in OPL 245 Case

10 SEPTEMBER 2020: This Day (Lagos)

The Nigerian government yesterday asked a court in Milan, Italy, to order Royal Dutch Shell and Eni to pay the sum of $1.092 billion as an immediate advance payment for damages in the Malabu oil scandal, one of the oil industry’s biggest-ever corruption scandals.During the hearing of the corruption allegation linked to the acquisition of the Oil Prospecting Lease (OPL) 245 offshore field, lawyer to the federal government, asked for advance payment ahead of a more comprehensive damages package to be decided by the court at a later date.

But in a swift reaction, Eni said yesterday in a statement made available to THISDAY by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) that it was “highly disappointed that the prosecutors continue to use as evidence flows of money which occurred after the Company paid for the OPL 245 licence, in order to support its accusations of corruption against the company. Payment for OPL 245 was made directly to the Nigerian government, in a clear, linear and transparent manner using an internationally-renowned bank. Eni was not aware, and was in no way required to be aware, of any flows of funds following its direct payment”.

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