Court, Foreign

Nigeria loses more than 1.5 billion dollars in Malabu scandal

The Nigerian government has lost more than 1.5 billion dollars in litigation with JP Morgan Bank over the alleged trafficking of OPL 245 crude oil in connection with the Malabu scandal.

Judge Sara Cockerill of the United Kingdom ruled in her favor today in what she called the “failure of the Nigerian government to convince her that the oil deal was rigged.”

Nigeria has filed a lawsuit seeking more than $ 1.7 billion over the role played by JP Morgan Bank in enabling Shell and Eni to invest in oil wells in the account of former oil minister Dan Etete.

Nigerian lawyer Roger Masefield said in February that what was required from her was evidence of corruption and proof that JP Morgan was aware of it.

The lawyer said that under the banking right, JP Morgan has the right to refuse to pay the amount in question as long as it proves that his client is being defrauded.

Judge Cockerill said that when the payments were made in 2013, the Bank was aware of the risks involved in the payments but was also limited.

In 2011 Shell and Eni paid the then Goodluck Jonathan government $ 1.3 billion for ownership of the oil well, while out of that amount they paid $ 875 million to the Malabu oil and gas company owned by former oil minister Dan Etete.

This follows Etete’s decision to hand over the Malabu oil field to the oil company during his tenure as oil minister in 1998.

Weeks after the deal was signed in April 2011, half of Malabu’s payments were confiscated and distributed to senior Nigerian government officials and Western oil executives as bribes.

This prompted the Nigerian government to launch an investigation to identify those involved in the scam and to seek redress from them, but a court in Milan acquitted the heads of the oil companies accused of embezzling funds.

According to Premium Times, the Nigerian government has expressed frustration with the decision, which it said it would review to determine its next course of action.

For its part, JP Morgan Bank said the ruling affirms its commitment to the operation of the law, and is always ready to protect its value.

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