Nigeria seizes oil bloc amid Shell and ENI corruption probe

Shell, Business, Oil, Profits

Nigeria is seizing one of Africa’s richest oil blocs and could prosecute petroleum giants Shell and Eni over a corruption scandal, court documents show.

The country’s economic and financial crimes commission said a federal high court has ceded control of Oil Prospecting Licence 245 to the federal government while it investigates and prosecutes suspects in the so-called “Malabu Oil scam”.

The inquiry has drawn investigators from the United States, Italy, France, Switzerland and Holland.

The commission’s petition said Dutch-British Shell and Italian Agip – now Eni – bought the bloc, knowing the transaction was “fraught with fraud” and that the $1.2bn payment to former petroleum minister Dan Etete and his cronies was a bribe.

The state oil company received only $210m from the deal.

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