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Reuters: Italy widens probe into alleged obstruction in Nigeria graft case

In the corruption case, Eni and Shell are accused of buying Nigeria’s OPL 245 offshore oilfield in the knowledge that the vast majority of the $1.3 billion purchase price would be siphoned off to agents and middlemen in corrupt payments.

Emilio Parodi: JULY 4, 2019

MILAN, July 4 (Reuters) – Italian prosecutors are widening an investigation into suspected obstruction of justice by officials of oil group Eni, sources said, threatening to open a new legal front for the company as it defends itself in a major corruption trial.

The inquiry is preliminary and has been overshadowed by the ongoing trial, which centres on the 2011 purchase of a Nigerian oilfield by Eni and oil major Shell, but it is gathering momentum, said three sources familiar with the probe. read more

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SAHARA REPORTERS:Nigeria’s OPL 245 Scandal: One Of World’s Biggest Oil Industry Corruption Trials

Italian prosecutors accuse former and current executives of the two energy giants of paying bribes to secure the licence. In March 2019, Dutch prosecutors said they were preparing criminal charges against Shell over OPL 245.

BY SAHARAREPORTERS, NEW YORK: JUL 18, 2019

According to Reuters, one of the oil industry’s biggest corruption trials revolves around a Nigerian offshore licence known as OPL 245, which Royal Dutch Shell and Italy’s Eni bought in 2011.

Italian prosecutors accuse former and current executives of the two energy giants of paying bribes to secure the licence.

Shell and Eni, and their executives have denied the accusations and any wrongdoing.

Below are a list of legal actions that have arisen from the award of OPL 245: read more

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Malabu Scandal: How Shell, Eni, Jonathan’s ministers, others negotiated $1.3 billion deal – Witness

Although Shell and ENI initially claimed they did not know the money would end up with Mr Etete and his cronies, evidence has shown that claim to be false.

: July 18, 2019

A major witness in the long-running Malabu oil scandal on Wednesday told an Italian court that Eni officials knew that the controversial payment made in the deal would go to Malabu oil company, controlled by Nigeria’s former oil minister, Dan Etete.

Vincenzo Armanna, former Eni manager and defendant in the corruption trial, said in his testimony that it was clear to everyone involved in the deal that Mr Etete would get over $1 billion, adding that there was no doubt the money was going to Malabu. read more

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Reuters: Eni officials tried to tamper with witness in Nigeria OPL 245 case: prosecutor

Oil major Shell (RDSa.L), which jointly bought the offshore field with Eni, is also on trial for corruption over the deal.

Emilio Parodi: 17 July 2019

MILAN (Reuters) – Officials from Eni (ENI.MI) sought to convince a witness, a former Eni manager, to withdraw some statements he made during investigations into a Nigerian corruption case involving the Italian oil group, a court heard on Wednesday.

Prosecutor Fabio De Pasquale made the comment in a trial hearing into the case, during a legal debate over a request by Eni lawyers to adjourn proceedings to give more time to consider evidence in a related obstruction-of-justice investigation. read more

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OILPRICE.COM: Eni Managers Accused of Attempted Witness Tampering In OPL 245 Oil Corruption Case

An Italian prosecutor told a local court on Wednesday the court was made aware that managers at Italy’s oil major Eni tried to tamper with a witness in an ongoing investigation into alleged corruption in an oil block award in Nigeria.

“We have become aware that Eni, through its managers, would have tried to influence and would have approached the defendant (Vincenzo) Armanna to convince him to withdraw some of his statements,” Reuters quoted prosecutor Fabio De Pasquale as telling the court today. read more

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Litigation stemming from OPL 245, including criminal cases against Shell and ENI

In May 2018, the main trial in Milan started, in which Eni Chief Executive Claudio Descalzi, former Shell exploration chief Malcolm Brinded and 11 other defendants, as well as the two companies, were accused by Italian prosecutors of paying bribes to secure the licence. All the accused denied wrongdoing.

FACTBOX-Legal cases sparked by Nigerian oilfield licence award

LONDON, July 17 (Reuters) – One of the oil industry’s biggest corruption trials revolves around a Nigerian offshore licence known as OPL 245, which Royal Dutch Shell and Italy’s Eni bought in 2011.

Italian prosecutors accuse former and current executives of the two energy giants of paying bribes to secure the licence.

Shell and Eni, and their executives, have denied the accusations and any wrongdoing.

Below are a list of legal actions that have arisen from the award of OPL 245:

* Some key issues related to the OPL 245 case came to light in two separate civil suits  filed shortly after the 2011 deal by a Nigerian, Emeka Obi, and a former Russian diplomat, Ednan Agaev, who said they were owed millions of dollars by a Nigerian company, Malabu Oil and Gas, for arranging meetings with Shell and Eni in relation to the licence, court filings show. Obi was awarded at least $100 million for his work as a “dealmaker”, the court records show. Agaev reached an out-of-court settlement. read more

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MOSOP Caution Against Oil Resumption in Ogoniland

Printed below in italics is a press statement issued by one of the two competing organisations, both calling themselves MOSOP. The statement is from the MOSOP led by Fegalo Nsuke which is indisputably active, while the MOSOP led by Legborsi Saro Pyagbara (Wikipedia article) has an online presence, but otherwise appears to be dormant?

PRESS STATEMENT

The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has cautioned against a possible crackdown on the Ogoni people to kill them in order to force oil resumption in the land.

President of MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke, raised the alarm while addressing newsmen in Abuja on Friday. Nsuke said the plot is being hatched by allies of Shell who have disguised as Ogoni leaders and championing the campaign for oil resumption.

“Oil resumption will kill our people and we do not want it” Nsuke said.

He explained that government orientation to force oil production in Ogoni using the military has not helped matters but has rather endangered the Ogoni people.

“Attempts to force oil resumption in Ogoniland without the consent of the people have always been resisted. Usually, the government responds by sending soldiers who shoot and kill Ogoni people and we do not want this to happen again”

Nsuke further warned that “killing Ogoni people over oil could attract sympathy from the rest of the Niger Delta and possibly throw the region into crisis”

He described the campaigns for oil resumption as an invitation to state repression against the Ogoni people noting that the Ogoni environment cannot support any form of oil exploitation at this time.

“The Ogoni people and the environment can logically not support any form of oil production at the moment as the people have not been receptive to the idea. The implication is that every attempt to force oil production in Ogoni will be resisted by the people and government will as usual respond by sending in the soldiers to kill us which we do not want. It is therefore imperative that to save lives, we must not contemplate oil resumption in Ogoni at this time” Nsuke said.

According to him, Shell’s crime against the Ogoni people were still very fresh and affecting lives severely, therefore, plans to resume oil production without the people’s consent could cause civil protests and lead to conflicts with attendant loss of lives.

Signed

Dcn Monday Ziinu

Gen Secretary, MOSOP

Disclaimer

The views, information, allegations or opinions expressed above are those of the author/originator of the article. They have not been substantiated by the publisher of this website and may not represent the publisher’s views. read more

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After 25 years, a Nigerian widow still seeks justice for her husband and the rest of the Ogoni Nine

“We know that Shell had its own surveillance operation and that these operatives had received training from Nigeria’s Internal Security Agency, which itself was directly responsible for a number of human rights violations, such as arbitrary killings, rape, destruction of property, burning of homes — not just crimes under international law or human rights violations, but also crimes under domestic law.”

kwbu 103.3FM Heart of Texas Public Radio: Living on Earth: July 05, 2019 · 11:00 AM EDT: Writer Adam Wernick: This article is based on an interview that aired on PRI’s Living on Earth with Steve Curwood.

Esther Kiobel (centre) and Victoria Bera (right) with their lawyer Channa Samkalden for the verdict at the court in The Hague. Photo: Bart Hoogveld for the FD (the Dutch Financial Times)

This May, Esther Kiobel came one step closer to justice in her battle against the Royal Dutch Shell Oil Company. read more

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OPL 245: Italy protests Swiss delay in releasing evidence in Nigeria graft case

Swiss police found the documents in a briefcase they seized in April 2016 in an inquiry unrelated to the corruption case, and the source said Milan prosecutors believed the documents could be vital to their prosecution of Eni and Shell. But Italy’s request for the documents to be handed over has been blocked by Swiss courts after repeated legal challenges by the owner of the briefcase, Nigerian lawyer Emeka Obi, who was charged alongside Eni and Shell executives in the graft case.

MILAN (Reuters) – Italian prosecutors have complained to Switzerland about lengthy delays in obtaining evidence they have requested in an international corruption case involving oil firms Shell and Eni, a source familiar with the matter said.

Milan prosecutors wrote in April to the Geneva prosecutors’ office in a previously undisclosed letter, describing their three-year wait for documents to be handed over by Swiss authorities as “unprecedented”, the source said. read more

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nrc.nl: Dutch corruption case against Shell is, according to lawyers, inevitably delayed

Printed below is a translation of an article published this weekend by the Dutch broadcaster NRC. It is about the Shell internal communications and documents relating to the OPL 245 Nigerian oil deal corruption case seized during a raid carried out by the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) at Shell HQ in the Hague in 2016. In a controversial move, Shell lawyers are resorting to legal machinations to frustrate the progress of the Dutch proceedings. On this occasion by claiming legal privilege and secrecy over the seized evidence. Criminal proceedings relating to the same massively corrupt oil deal are moving forward quickly in Italy (but at a snail’s pace in the Netherlands, Shell’s home country). A related tapped telephone conversation involving Shell CEO Ben van Beurden when he ordered that no documents should be volunteered to the investigators carrying out the raid can be heard here. Undisputably, another Shell cover-up tactic. So much for Shell’s claimed business principles from a company that seems to employ more MI6 people than MI6. Listen to the taped call. 

Dutch corruption case against Shell is, according to lawyers, inevitably delayed

Professional secrecy

Call for OM to simplify procedures related to non-disclosure law encounters astonishment among lawyers and scientists

By our editors Carola Houtekamer and Merijn Rengers: Amsterdam.

Shell and the Public Prosecution Service were honest about it on Thursday. Yes, they clash over the internal Shell documents that were seized by the FIOD investigation service at the head office in The Hague during the beginning of 2016. They deal with the corruption case involving OPL245, a mega-oil field off the coast of Nigeria. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

Court Adjourns Nigerian Govt’s $406.7 Million Debt Recovery Suit Against Shell Until June 19

A Lagos Division of the Federal High Court on Thursday adjourned until June 19, hearing in a debt recovery suit filed by the federal government against Shell Western Supply & Trading Ltd, over an alleged $406.7 million shortfall in crude oil shipment.

The suit numbered FHC/L/CS/336/16 was filed by FG’s counsel, Fabian Ajogwu, a professor and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

It has as defendants, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd and its subsidiary, Shell Western Supply & Trading Ltd. read more

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Report of current court proceedings in OPL 245 criminal case against Shell and ENI

It appears, according to court documents, at the request of ‘Royal Dutch Shell plc’ and four suspected former Shell employees who are mentioned by name and by name in the Italian summons. These are two former British secret agents, hired by Shell as oil men whose main task was to make the inscrutable Nigerian policy more transparent. And two senior Shell managers: former board member Malcolm Brinded and former Africa director Peter Robinson. The foursome is said to have been closely involved in preparing the bribes payments…: “He is a former head of the British secret service MI6, but really no more than a junior employee at Shell in Nigeria.

…in the Netherlands, the FIOD invaded the head office in 2016 and a criminal case for corruption seems imminent. 

Translation of an article published today by the Dutch broadcaster NRC Handelsblad.

“By Nigerian standards, this was a great oil deal”

Shell lawsuit: After months of waiting, Shell took the floor on Tuesday in the court case about possible bribery at the unexplored Nigerian oil field OPL245.

By Merijn Rengers, Carola Wood Room, June 4, 2019

Room 7, where the largest corruption case in Dutch company history is fought, is bursting at the seams. It is warm and noisy and the available seats are already set aside early in the morning for at least 25 Italian lawyers, their crowd of assistants and prosecutors. The other listeners – Shell representatives, activists, interested parties – are forced to sit and sit in the back, or cage in two paying cells on either side of the courtroom where normally detained suspects await their verdict. read more

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Bloomberg: Nigeria’s Oil Thieves Roar Back Even as Militants Kept in Check

By Elisha Bala-Gbogbo: 5 June 2019, 01:00 BST

About 100,000 barrels of crude are being taken daily: SBM

Oil-theft is now an industry employing thousands in Nigeria

Just as Nigeria gets to grips with militants who brought the nation’s oil industry to its knees a few years ago, another group of longstanding foes are slowly making a comeback: thieves.

Saboteurs including thieves caused an 80% increase in the number of spills in 2018, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the largest international producer in the West African country, said in a report last month. By contrast, there have been no militant-related halts to operations since 2016. read more

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BBC News: BP to pay billions in suspicious Senegal gas deal

03 JUNE 2019

BP has agreed to pay around $10bn (£8bn) to a businessman involved in a suspicious energy deal.

The energy giant bought Frank Timis’ stake in a gas field off the coast of Senegal for $250 million in 2017.

But documents obtained by BBC Panorama and Africa Eye reveal that BP will also pay his company between $9bn and $12bn in royalties.

Both BP and Mr Timis deny any wrongdoing. read more

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MOSOP Cautions Against Forceful Oil Resumption in Ogoniland

The MOSOP president said the Ogoni struggle for justice in Nigeria has consumed over 4,000 lives and currently endangers the lives of over 1,000,000 people owing to Shell and Nigeria’s unjust practices and unfair laws that oppress indigenous communities like the Ogoni people. read more

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Nigeria and Royal Dutch Shell begin contract negotiations

Last year, Nigeria’s Supreme Court ruled in favour of a group of oil-producing states that had sued the federal government for not collecting enough of the proceeds from the country’s oil wealth, which the lawsuit estimated at about $20bn. read more

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