The Federal Republic of Nigeria has filed a claim in the High Court in London against two international oil giants; Shell and Eni over the deal in which they acquired the OPL 245 oil licence for $1.3 billion, Today’s Echo has gathered.
Nigeria could seek as much as $3.5 billion in damages from the two companies over a shady deal for one of Africa’s biggest untapped oilfields, in what is known as the Malabu scandal in the country.
The Nigerian government is claiming that the deal was corrupt and resulted in Nigeria receiving “no or negligible value” for rights to the “extremely valuable” offshore licence, which it estimates was in fact worth “at least $3.5 billion”,”
Of the $1.3 billion that was paid, Nigeria says it ended up receiving about $200 million, with up to $1.1 billion being swiftly transferred on to other people.
OPL 245 and the Malabu Scandal
Recall that Today’s Echo reported the publication of the outcome of a new investigation, which revealed that oil giants, Eni and Shell paid $1.1 billion to government officials to give away Nigeria’s share of oil returns from Oil Prospecting Lease (OPL) 245.
“Italian Prosecutors allege that the $1.1bn paid by Shell and Eni for the OPL 245 licence was used to pay former Nigerian oil minister Dan Etete and “intended for payment to President Jonathan, members of the government, and other Nigerian public officials”. Shell, Eni and some of their senior managers are now standing trial, charged with international corruption, with prosecution pending in other countries,” Global Witness, an international organization working to expose the systems that enable corruption and conflict stated in a press release issued on Thursday, April 25, 2019