24.1 C

Malabu oil scam: Nigerian witness fumbles in testimony against Eni in Italy


AT the ongoing corruption trial of oil conglomerates, Shell & Eni in Milan, Italy the court listened to the testimony of Isaac Eke, a retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police as he spoke about his role in the ongoing probe of the $1.1 billion Malabu oil scandal. 

At the hearing held at the Palace of Justice in Milan, Eke who was invited to the witness stand by defendant Vincenzo Armanna, past Eni manager, who became one of the main accusers of the current Eni Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Claudio Descalzi amongst other managers.

In a series of tweets by Barnaby Pace, an environmental journalist who posted details of the court proceeding Eke’s statements contradicted the letter he had written to the court of his willingness to testify in the case.

In his letter, Eke stated that Armanna was introduced to him as the main contact person for Agip in Nigeria, Eni’s subsidiary but during cross-examination in the court he said no one was introduced to him as Eni’s contact.

He also admitted that he was summoned by the then National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno who gave him instructions which involved paying for his accommodations and flights for which he will be reimbursed by Armanna.

    Another witness called by Roberto Casula, a defendant in the case was Salvatore Castilletti, a senior official with the Italian secret service who was in charge of protecting Italians in Eni. He said while he was attached to Eni he never heard the mention of OPL 245 nor was he a part of the process.

    Considered to be one of the biggest corporate corruption scandals in history, the Malabu oil scandal involved the transfer of about $1.1 billion by oil giants Shell and Eni through the Federal Government to accounts controlled by a former Minister of Petroleum, Dan Etete.

    Shell and Eni were said to have given the bribes in a bid for OPL 245, one of Nigeria’s richest oil blocks. The oil block’s reserves were estimated to be 9.23 billion barrels of crude oil.

    Since the trial of the deal commenced, several of the oil giants’ most senior executives have been in the dock, after being accused of massive corruption.

    Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.

    Support the ICIR

    We invite you to support us to continue the work we do.

    Your support will strengthen journalism in Nigeria and help sustain our democracy.

    If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation



    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Support the ICIR

    We need your support to produce excellent journalism at all times.


    Abia doctors suspend six-month-old strike

    THE Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Abia state chapter, has suspended its six months old...

    [INVESTIGATION] Baba Aisha, Nigeria’s fake ‘doctor’ cashing out on deadly concoction

    By KEMI Busari IN Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, many residents consume ‘Baba Aisha Herbal...

    How states can improve on access to power, investments with 2023 Electricity Act

    STATE governments can attract more investments into Nigeria's power sector and improve access to...

    Police raid Zamfara former governor’s residence, recover 40 govt vehicles

    THE Zamfara State Police Command said it recovered more than 40 government vehicles from...

    Tinubu suspends CBN governor Emefiele

    PRESIDENT Bola Ahmed Tinubu has suspended the Central Bank of Nigeria's (CBN) Governor Godwin...

    Most Read

    Subscribe to our newsletter