Malabu Scandal: Italian court orders Shell, Eni to face trial

Shell-and-Eni
Shell and Eni photo used to illustrate the story. [Photo credit: THISDAYLIVE]

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.

The trial is expected to commence on March 5, Italian media reports said Wednesday.

Italian prosecutors had earlier indicted Shell and Agip for their role in the 2011 deal in which Nigeria sold the lucrative oil block to the two oil majors.

A former petroleum minister, Dan Etete, and a former Attorney-General, Bello Adoke, are amongst several Nigerians indicted in the deal, which was approved by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

Shell and Eni’s Nigerian subsidiary, Agip, are among those already being prosecuted in Nigeria.

In a prompt reaction to the judge’s decision, Shell said it was shocked.

“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,” the firm said in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES.


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  • Foreign Perspective

    DEAR EDITOR

    BEFORE ADOKE MADE A CRIMINAL CAREER OF OPL 245…

    There is obviously place for bribery and corruption in SHELL OIL COMPANY.
    Under no circumstances should SHELL have agreed to pay 1.2 billion dollars
    through Agip – Eni Oil company of Italy to Dan Etete to buy 100% interest stake
    in the oil acreage called OPL 245 contrary to the Local Participation Law of Nigeria which prohibits foreign ownership of oil fields allocated as concession to native Nigerians. Any company that pays money to violate a law has paid a bribe – simple!

    The failure of thought by the then Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo allowed the OPL 245 fraud to incubate and spread to become 0 the worst case of corporate bribery in world history. Obasanjo was the incumbent president in 1999 when the Dan Etete OPL 245 fraud was at planning stage. Obasanjo was alerted to it but Obasanjo has never had good administrative skills and only just bluffed, blustered and blundered for eight consecutive years on the case. In a sense, the robbery of Nigerians through the OPL 245 shenanigan is yet another price the usually daft Nigerians pay for always choosing ignorant people as president of their country.

    • August January

      “A former petroleum minister, Dan Etete, and a former Attorney-General, Bello Adoke, are amongst several Nigerians indicted in the deal, which was approved by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.” – So why focusing on Obasanjo, while you leave Jonathan untouched.

      • Patrick Otobo

        Even though I disagree with the title of his comment, he is focusing on Obasanjo because he is the mastermind of the entire Malabu scam. It was Obasanjo that originally revoked the OPL 245 Licence despite the obvious conflict of interest and abuse of office inherent in the award and later restored it back to Malabu through a Settlement Agreement of 2006 midwife by him and his then Attorney General Bayo Ojo and Edmund Daukoro. After restoring OPL 245 back to Malabu, the share holding structure changed with some economic vultures like Otumba Fasawe, a known Obasanjo associate also claiming to be a share holder in Malabu. Atiku Abubakar also claimed to be a shareholder. The question then is: who is Fasawe representing??? All the documents are in public space for any interested reader.

        Same Obasanjo later dishonestly denied his role on Malabu to Premium Times and was requesting any Niegrian who has a proof to show that he ever played any role in Malabu to publish it despite the letter conveying the restoration OPL 245 back to Malabu which was written on his behalf by his then Minister of State for Petroleum-Edmund Daukoru. Nigerians are still waiting for Obasanjo to tender apology as he promised because there are several publications indicating his role in Malabu. And his role is less than noble and assailable. You can now see the reason why he is focusing on Obasanjo. Please google “Obasanjo tackles Adoke”.

        Meanwhile Adoke surrendered himself for an international inquiry on Malabu in Italy and Netherlands and he has was not and never indicted as this publication has shown. I dont understand the basis for which EFCC is proceeding recklessly against Adoke other than to serve the interested of some vested interests. Jonathan administration merely implemented the Settlement Agreement negotiated by Obsanjo and reduced to a consent judgement which is binding on the government.

        • August January

          There are blames to go round! You can’t tell me there was nothing Jonathan could do to remedy the situation as the sitting President rather than approving a deal with k-leg, hence my position that he left Jonathan to go in peace. If it was Buhari who gave the approval, he would probably be the one many Nigerians would blame – in fact, I’m sure many would have said, “Well, not his fault; it was because he couldn’t read the agreement, since he didn’t even pass his WAEC”. In short, what I’m saying is that that comment was too lenient to Jonathan, as if he was helpless in the face of the situation.

    • Segun Adeleke

      The violation of the law on Local Participation which forbids foreign ownership of oil blocks allocated on concession basis to indigenous companies started from OPL 246 of TY Danjuma and Agbami Field of Alakija. The signature bonus for these oil blocks was $20m. It is surprising that there is inquisition in to this. In Malabu OPL 245, a signature bonus of $210 was paid. All the indigenous owners have since sold the blocks at premium to multinationals-Shell, ENI, Chevron etc.

  • Foreign Perspective

    @augustjanuary:disqus

    Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was the final executioner of the OPL 245 fraud;
    but the failure of thought by the then Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo
    allowed the OPL 245 fraud to incubate and spread to become 0 the worst
    case of corporate bribery in world history. Obasanjo was the incumbent
    president in 1999 when the Dan Etete OPL 245 fraud was at planning stage.
    Obasanjo was alerted to it but Obasanjo has never had good administrative
    skills and only just bluffed, blustered and blundered for eight consecutive
    years on the case. In a sense, the robbery of Nigerians through the OPL 245
    shenanigan is yet another price the usually daft Nigerians pay for always
    choosing ignorant people as president of their country.

    • ???????¾

      @disqus_ljMvZPzkpc:disqus

      HOW COME PRESIDENT BUHARI CANNOT BRING ANYBODY TO JUSTICE ON OPL 245

      IN NIGERIA – NOT EVEN ALLHAJI ALIYU (ALIAS AA) WHO OWNS A HUGE MANSION IN ABUJA?

  • wazobia decomposition !!!!!!

    watch ……… ebele’s puppets in house of reps and senate would soon scream blue murder and ask the italians to stop the nonsense ………..#takebackourassests ……………….

    • Patrick Otobo

      Take back our assets! Please start from:
      1. OPL 246: TY Danjuma and Abacha family in which over US$3b went in to provate pockets
      2. OML 127 (Agbami Filed): Alakija in which billion of dollars went to Alakija from Chevron.

      Shine your eyes!!!!

      • wazobia decomposition !!!!!!

        all of it including ALL stated by you!!!!!

  • GusO

    Other countries are able to prosecute high rolling scammers of our own oil industry but our prosecutors and Judges are not able the do so. It’s a shame that our judiciary and legal system is utterly below global standards. Justice Onnoghen should do all that’s possible to restore our judiciary to the world class standards bequeathed on us by the late Chief Justices Ademola and Taslim Elias.