WED, SEPT 09, 2020-theG&BJournal-The Federal Government has again raised the stakes in the legal fight over the ownership of Malibu and the OPL 245 oil blocks, when it asked a Milan court to order Eni and the Royal Dutch Shell to pay $1,092 billion as an immediate advance payment for damages it is claiming on the sale of the blocks and called for a guilty Verdict ahead of any broader damages package set by a court at later date.
According to Reuters, Nigeria’s legal representative, Lucio Lucia did not specify how much Nigeria was seeking in damages overall but said the disputed deal had deprived Abuja ‘’profit oil’’, adding that ‘’these are massive amounts.’’
Reuters quoted the lawyer as saying that ‘’calculated under two different scenarios, the profits that had been lost amounted to $4.5 billion and $5.9 billion.’’
The Federal Government said it lost over $5 billion in the sale of the block to Malibu Oil and Gas in 1998, a company whose ownership is traced to former Petroleum Minister, Dan Etete.
The Federal Government recently sued the US bank JP Morgan in the civil courts in London for transferring $801 million to Malibu, an extension of Nigeria’s pursuit to recover its losses in the sale of the OPL 245. The sale is considered the dirtiest corporate fraud ever.
OPL 245 oil blocks holds an estimated 9 billion barrels of oil