Eni made the payment directly to the government

Eni paid the agreed amount to the Nigerian government pursuant to a legitimate contract entered into therewith. IT IS A FALSE CLAIM to state that Eni made illegal payments to Malabu.

The truth

Eni paid the agreed purchase price for the block to the Nigerian Government only.

On 9 September 2013, the NGOs Re:Common, Global Witness and The Corner House filed a petition with the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Milan suggesting that the acquisition of OPL 245 by Eni and Shell was illegal, as the licence was the object of litigation between Malabu and the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN).

The NGOs’ petition filed with the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Milan (9 September 2013)

Retracing payment flows

Documentary records refute the allegations of the NGOs and show that Eni paid the Nigerian government in a clear, linear, and transparent way, pursuant to the agreement between the parties.


In particular, the acquisition of the rights to Block 245 by Eni and Shell took place by virtue of an agreement signed solely and directly with the Nigerian State, as set out in paragraph 1.3 of the Resolution Agreement of 29 April 2011. This is also confirmed in the report of Guardia di Finanza, the Italian law enforcement agency responsible for dealing with financial crime, of 1 December 2016, part of the Public Prosecutor’s records regarding the court case brought at the Court Milan.

The actual position of Malabu

Until 2011, when the FGN intervened, anyone wishing to invest in Block 245 could not help involving Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd., which had been the legal holder of the prospecting licence and the corresponding rights since 1998. As with other OPLs, OPL 245 was the subject of legal disputes and arbitrations, but Malabu always managed to defend its position.

As detailed, in April 2011 Malabu assigned its rights to OPL 245 to the FGN and dropped all litigations in return for a $1.09 billion compensation.

The legitimacy of Malabu’s role in the negotiation was also confirmed in the report of Polizia Giudiziaria, the Italian judicial police, of 24 November 2016, filed in the Italian Public Prosecutor’s records. Meanwhile, a detailed investigation conducted by an American legal firm hired by Eni (Pepper Hamilton LLP) into the legitimacy of the acquisition procedure confirmed the operation was conducted properly.

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