Court sets June 18 for Malabu corruption case hearing

Court sets June 18 for Malabu corruption case hearing

A Nigerian court has set a hearing date for the disputed 2011 oilfield deal for June 18, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said.

The case relates to a purchase of the offshore OPL 245 oilfield in Nigeria by oil majors, Royal Dutch Shell and Eni, in 2011, according to Reuters

The court is now awaiting the arraignment of the defendants, Reuters reported, citing Nigeria’s financial watchdog, the EFCC.

Shell and Eni paid USD1.3billion for offshore licence 245 in Nigeria, but EFCC has accused defendants of being part of a scheme to defraud the country of a large part of that sum.

Nigeria’s government has said funds were illegally transferred to bank accounts controlled by former oil minister Dan Tete, who led the company which sold the block, Malabu Oil and Gas.

Both Shell and Eni have denied any wrongdoing in the case which is also being investigation in their Netherlands and Italy respectively.

The Nigerian court case has been repeatedly delayed as defendants have failed to appear for hearings, Reuters reported.

Defendants include a former attorney general, ex-ministers of justice and oil and various former senior managers from Shell and Eni.

The deal is also being investigated in Italian and the Netherlands