UK COURT DISMISSES $1.1Bn NIGERIAN OIL CORRUPTION CASE AGAINST SHELL AND ENI
A UK court has dismissed a $1.1billion case presented by the Federal Government of Nigeria against the Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) and Eni (ENI.MI) over a dispute on the OPL 245 oilfield, while a similar trial is holding in Italy.
The case was filed by the Nigerian Government in 2018 at a commercial court in London alleging payments made by both companies to get the oilfield licence in 2011.
Justice Butcher said in his ruling that the High Court “must decline jurisdiction over the action against” Shell and the other defendants.
ENI.MI disclosed it was pleased the London court had rejected its jurisdiction in the matter, stating the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. SEC had both closed investigations of Eni on OPL 245 matters without taking any action.
A Shell spokeswoman said the company has agreed to the decision and it is very much welcomed. She said; “We maintain that the 2011 settlement related to OPL 245 was a fully legal transaction with Eni and the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN),”
The Shell spokeswoman said that the group did not believe there was a case to answer.
A spokesman for Nigeria said it was “naturally disappointed the Court has declined jurisdiction”.
“Nigeria continues to support the criminal proceedings underway in Milan. We intend to seek permission to appeal this decision (in London),” the spokesman said.