Fighting Corruption In Nigeria As Shell & Eni
Faces Corruption Charges
Eni and Shell will stand trial over a corruption charge related to alleged offenses over the acquisition of the Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 245 in Nigeria in 2011. Offshore Energy Today Reports
Eni said on Wednesday that the preliminary hearing judge at the court of Milan made a decision to send the company, its chief executive and a number of managers to trial on a charge of international corruption related to the acquisition, in 2011, of a stake in the OPL 245 licence in Nigeria.
An Italian federal judge has approved the prosecution of Royal Dutch Shell and Eni in the $1.3 billion controversial sale of OPL 245 oil block.
The judge in Milan also said Eni executive, Claudio Descalzi, and his predecessor, Paolo Scaroni, should be tried for their role in the deal.
Shell too confirmed that the judge remanded it to trial for the OPL 245 case.
Responding to the court decision, Eni’s board has reiterated its belief that the company was not involved in alleged corrupt activities in relation to the transaction.
Eni’s board further said it was confident that its chief executive Claudio Descalzi was not involved in the alleged illegal conduct and, more broadly, in his role as head of the company.
Eni expresses its full confidence in the judicial process and that the trial will ascertain and confirm the correctness and integrity of its conduct, Eni said.
Shell said: “We are disappointed by the outcome of the preliminary hearing and the decision to indict Shell and its former employees. We believe the trial judges will conclude that there is no case against Shell or its former employees.
Shell attaches the greatest importance to business integrity. It’s one of our core values and is a central tenet of the Business Principles that govern the way we do business. Shell has clear rules on anti-bribery and corruption and these are included in our Code of Conduct for all staff. There is no place for bribery or corruption in our company.
Eni and Shell jointly bought the block in question 2011 for more than one billion U.S. dollars. In 2014, the Milan Prosecutor’s office launched an investigation to see where the payment went and whether Eni and Shell knew, as it has been alleged that the money didn’t end up in the state coffers but was passed on further to the former oil minister Dan Etete.
The OPL 245 license had been owned by Malabu oil company, allegedly secretly owned by Etete. The allegations are that the Nigerian government gave the license to Shell and Eni for more than a billion dollars, and then passed the cash further to Malabu, that is, Etete.
Both Eni and Shell have been denying any wrongdoing ever since the start of the investigation.
Mobile:+234-7065131380 or 07084158325