Nigeria has lost its court battle against JP Morgan Chase Bank for its role in transferring hundreds of millions of dollars to former oil minister Dan Etete, accused of corruption.
In the lawsuit, Nigeria was seeking more than $1.7 billion for the bank’s role in the controversial deal.
In 2011, Shell and Eni paid the Nigerian government $1.3 billion to acquire an oil block exploration license. However, it was alleged that around $1.1 billion of this amount ended up in the account of Malabo Oil and Gas, which belonged to Etete. It is alleged that the funds were used to pay political bribes.
JP Morgan said in a statement that the judgment reflects its commitment to act with high professional standards in all countries where it operates.
The London case dates back to 1998, when Nigerian military leader Sani Abacha awarded the offshore oil field license, OPL 245, to a company owned by Etete.
Shell and Eni, however, have always denied being aware the money would be used for bribes, but one report alleged that senior Shell executives had been made aware of it.
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