Chinazor Megbolu |
The Federal Government of Nigeria has demanded $1.1 billion advance payment as settlement over Malabu oil scandal.
The government disclosed this on Wednesday, asking a court in Milan, Spain to order Royal Dutch Shell and Eni to pay the sum of $1.092 billion as advance payment for damages in the Malabu oil corruption deal.
At the hearing into the corruption case regarding the acquisition of the OPL 245 offshore field by Eni and Shell, the Federal Government lawyer asked for advance payment ahead of a more comprehensive damages packaged to be looked into by the court in the future.
In the process, it was alleged that about $1.1 billion of that amount ended up in the account of Malabu Oil and Gas owned by a former Petroleum Minister, Mr. Dan Etete, which was later used for political bribes.
The prosecutors, however, alleged that Etete, apart from bribing the politicians, settled some middlemen and then kept half of it for himself.
Meanwhile, Shell maintained that the 2011 agreement was a settlement of long-standing litigation following the previous allocation of the oil block by the Federal Government to Shell and Malabu.
The case in question, concerns the 2011 acquisition of oil block prospecting license by Eni and Shell, following the payment of $1.3 billion to the Nigerian government for the OPL 245 offshore field.
Moreover, the prosecutors in the case requested for the confiscation of the sum of $1.092 billion from all the defendants, stressing that the amount is the equivalent of the bribes that was allegedly paid out.
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