Eni was not a party to the legal proceedings in question, it is therefore difficult that it can be considered a decision “against Eni.”
Eni was not a party to the proceedings in question, therefore, it is difficult to see, as some have suggested, how the decision of the English court can be described as “against Eni”.
From the verdict of Southwark Crown Court in London:
“That investigation is not complete (and appears to be still at quite an early stage). Precisely because I cannot reach firm factual conclusions, I cannot simply assume that the FGN which was in power in 2011 and subsequently until 2015 rigorously defended the public interest of the people of Nigeria in all respects.” the judge said.
The judge pointed out that the investigation was in its early stages and in that sense could not reach an verdict on the facts and, moreover, can not take for granted that the conduct of the Nigerian government had rigorously defended the interests of the Nigerian people, in this sense, confirmed the request for seizure.
This seems a far cry from a conviction, as some have claimed, and is certainly not a decision against Eni that was not even part of the proceedings.
With regard to the ruling by Southwark Crown Court in London, we would once again reiterate that, in 2011, Eni and Shell signed agreements exclusively with the Nigerian Federal Government and paid the fee for a new licence for OPL 245, free from any liability and disputes, to an account held by the Nigerian Federal Government. Eni and Shell were totally uninvolved in any financial transactions subsequent to the payment made to the Nigerian government in exchange for the release of the OPL 245 licence.
In order to issue the new licence to Eni and Shell, and finally allow the development of a block that had been suspended for over a decade, the Nigerian government settled the international disputes with Shell and Malabu and cancelled the previous OPL 245 licence held by Malabu. In view of the cancellation of the old licence and the settlement of the relative disputes, the Nigerian government paid money to Malabu.
Any other interpretation of the facts is misleading.
With regard to the legal proceedings in the English court and today’s judgment, we cannot enter into the merits of a proceeding to which Eni was not a party.
Eni would also underline that a previous civil action between third parties in the English Courts in connection with the OPL 245 transaction, established that Energy Venture Partners was the consultant representative of Malabu for the sale and ruled out that there might have been fraudulent behaviour of any kind by Eni managers, defining allegations in that regard as implausible and contrived.
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