Italian Eni and Royal Dutch Shell have been slammed with a $1.1 billion (£870 million) lawsuit as the government of Nigeria accused the firms of bribery.
The accusations are conected to a deal for the licence on the OPL 245 oilfield. The government revealed that the cases have been filed in London.
In a statement that was released by the government of Nigeria today, it stated: “It is alleged that purchase monies purportedly paid to the Federal Republic of Nigeria were in fact immediately paid through to a company controlled by Dan Etete, formerly the Nigerian minister of petroleum, and used for, amongst other things, bribes and kickbacks.”
It added: “Accordingly, it is alleged that Shell and Eni engaged in bribery and unlawful conspiracy to harm the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that they dishonestly assisted corrupt Nigerian government officials.”
Eni said that it “continues to reject any allegation of impropriety or irregularity in connection with this transaction.”
Shell stated: “Based on […] all of the information and facts available to us, we do not believe that there is a case to answer in this matter.”