Nigerian consultant, Italian get 4 years jail term over controversial oil deal

A Nigerian and an Italian, who were both negotiators during the sale of controversial OPL 245 aka Malabu deal, have been jailed four years each.

Both companies deny paying kickbacks

According to a report by Reuters, Obi and Di Nardo were found guilty and sentenced four years each by an Italian court on Thursday, September 20, 2018.

It was further reported that Obi and Di Nardo had opted for a quick trial for their roles in the deal.

The Malabu deal is the controversial sale of OPL 245 oil block in offshore Nigerian waters.

The Malabu deal became a subject of legal redress after it was struck in 2011 under President Goodluck Jonathan.

Royal Dutch Shell and Italian Agip-Eni allegedly paid out about $1.1 billion to Dan Etete, a former Nigerian petroleum minister who had previously been convicted of money laundering in France.

Eni denies wrongdoing in Malabu oil scandal

Italian giant Eni said it was "serene" in the face of allegations it had bribed Nigerian officials to seal an oil deal, insisting the company was squeaky clean.

"The company is serene and has the utmost confidence in the management," its chairman Emma Marcegaglia told shareholders at the group's general assembly in Rome.

Eni and fellow petroleum Goliath Shell are accused of corruption in the 2011 purchase of OPL245, an offshore oil block estimated to hold 9 billion barrels of crude, for $1.3 billion.

Both companies are charged with corruption in Nigeria and are being investigated by Italian prosecutors in connection with the deal, which allegedly saw Nigeria's former president Goodluck Jonathan and his oil minister pocket bribes.

'My real role in Malabu oil deal,' Ex-AGF Adoke

Former attorney-general of the federation, Mohammed Adoke,has denied he brokered the controversial OPL 245 deal between the federal government and Malabu Oil and Gas in 2011.

Adoke said he did not broker the deal, but admitted playing the role of a "facilitator" on behalf of the Federal Government.

In a statement issued by his media officer, Victor Akhidenor, the ex-AGF also said he did not receive bribe from anyone regarding the deal.

The statement was in reaction to a newspaper editorial which named Adoke as the leader of the team that brokered the deal.

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