- The last has not been heard of the controversial Malabu deal
- A court in London has ruled that it does not have the jurisdiction to hear the claim
- The verdict stated that there is a similar suit in Italy brought by the Nigerian government over the Malabu deal
The federal government of Nigeria’s $1 billion suit against oil giants Shell and Eni over the controversial Malabu deal cannot go ahead in England.
This was the verdict of a London judge on Friday, May 22.
According to Law360.com, Judge Christopher Butcher said the court does not have jurisdiction to hear the claim.
In his written decision, the judge said that the English case has both the same essential facts and parties as parallel proceedings in Italy both brought by the Nigerian government over the Malabu deal.
Virtual hearings in the case took place last month, during which the companies argued to halt the $1 billion suit is the same with an ongoing criminal trial and parallel civil claim being brought by federal government in Italy over the controversial OPL 245.
The defendants – Eni, Shell and others – asked for the court to decline jurisdiction under article 29 of the recast Brussels Regulation, as the Italian case against the companies is still ongoing.
Malami, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said this in a statement issued by Dr Umar Gwandu, his special assistant on media and public relations.
“I unequivocally maintain that all persons indicted by the EFCC’s investigation report as regards the OPL 245 Malabu be prosecuted in accordance with the relevant laws.
“I have maintained that the investigation should be watertight and intensified to ensure that all essential elements of the alleged offences are established through a thorough and detailed investigation,’’ he said.
Around the same period, Justice Idris Kutigi of the FCT high court ordered the arrest of former minister of petroleum, Dan Etete, over his alleged involvement in the Malabu Oil scam.
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