Eni and Shell’s acquittal in Nigeria faces legal challenge

Milan, July 29 (Reuters) – Italian prosecutors and the Nigerian government appealed the acquittal of Eni (ENI.MI) and Shell (RDSa.L) and a number of former and current managers in a Nigerian corruption case. according to a document viewed by Reuters.

In March, a Milan court acquitted the two companies and defendants in the oil industry’s largest corruption case, which involved the $ 1.3 billion acquisition of a Nigerian oil field a decade ago. Continue reading

The Nigerian government said at the time it was surprised and disappointed with the verdict and was considering appealing.

The case revolved around a deal in which Eni and Shell acquired the OPL 245 offshore oil field in 2011 to resolve a longstanding ownership dispute.

Prosecutors alleged that nearly $ 1.1 billion of this was diverted to politicians and middlemen.

The Milan court said there was no case to be answered and acquitted the companies and all of the other defendants.

“We have always maintained that the 2011 settlement was legal. We will examine the appeal,” said a Shell spokesman.

Eni said it recognized the appeal by prosecutors and the Nigerian government. “I am waiting to read the reasons for the appeal; Eni confirms that she is completely alien to the facts at issue,” a spokesman said.

Last month, two prosecutors were officially investigated by judges in the case for allegedly failing to submit documents in support of Enis’ position. The Italian Ministry of Justice ordered an investigation into their behavior. Continue reading

Reporting by Emilio Parodi; Additional coverage from Ron Bousso and Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Agnieszka Flak and Mike Harrison

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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