Court Orders Return of N49.91billion Seized From Nigerian and Italian Businessmen

Court Orders Return of N49.91billion Seized From Nigerian and Italian Businessmen

  • Italian court rule in favour of businessmen, Emeka Obi and Gianluca Di Nardo in the Shell and Eni corruption case which had started since 2018
  • Obi's and Nardo's property worth a total N49.91 billion was seized, while they were given four years jail term of which they haven't served
  • The court said both the Nigerian and Italian businessmen have no case to answer in the legal suit involving oil companies, Shell and Eni

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Nigerian Emeka Obi, and Italian Gianluca Di Nardo, have had the sentence made against them, in a case involving Eni and Shell, reversed by a three-man judge.

The appeal court judges ruled against an initial order sentencing both Obi and Nardo to four years imprisonment. They also reversed the directive that properties belonging to them be returned.

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How fast-track trial cost them billions

Obi and Nardo had lost their asset worth $98.4 million and $23 million respectively to a fast-track trial judgement in 2018, which is usually made in Italy with hearings or witnesses.

Nigerian and Italian Businessmen have won a lawsuit involving Shell and Eni
Someone counting naira. Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty
Source: Getty Images

Fast-track trials are made based on available documents, and allows for sentences to be cut by a third. They haven't spent serve the jail term awarded in the suit.

The judgement had risen from their involvement in the acquisition of a Nigerian oilfield for about $1.3 billion - an acquisition termed to have been fraudulent.

The new order stated that both Obi and Nardo had no case to answer, hence the quashing of the 2018 conviction, Reuters reported. This comes weeks after Italy’s justice ministry ordered for the probe of the two prosecutors involved in the Shell and Eni case.

Commenting on the new judgement, Obi’s lawyer Roberto Pisano, described the fast-track trial as:

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“An unjust sentence by the court of first instance conditioned by a macroscopic violation of the law."

Meanwhile, had previously reported that American billionaire, Elon Musk, has reclaimed his spot as the second richest man on Bloomberg wealth index.

Musk had previously lost the position to Bernard Arnault, the French business mogul, after Tesla's market value tanked days back. But following activities in China and US, the stock rose again.

Elon Musk gained N3.28 trillion when Tesla's market value recovered, and this has pushed his wealth beyond that of Arnault.


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