Fidelity bank banner Bayelsa State banner
Mystery briefcase linked to $1.1bn bribery case in Nigeria

By News Express on 26/05/2018

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+

Views: 711

A briefcase seized from a Geneva, Switzerland apartment two years ago could be the key to an Italian bribery case against Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Eni SpA – if it makes it to Milan, Italy, in time, Bloomberg has reported.

The bag held SIM cards, Nigerian passports, a laptop and a hard drive containing more than 40,000 documents, and belonged to Emeka Obi, according to a spokesman for the Geneva Prosecutor’s Office.

Swiss prosecutors found it during a raid for an unrelated investigation and are trying to get it to their Italian colleagues, who are prosecuting Obi as an alleged middleman in a $1.1 billion kickback scheme involving the energy companies vying for a Nigerian oil licence.

Obi’s lawyers persuaded a Geneva judge to put the contents of his briefcase under seal, citing his rights to privacy.

A decision by Geneva’s Measures of Constraint Court on whether to lift that seal is expected as soon as this month.

While officials in Milan have moved forward with charges against the oil companies without the briefcase, the evidence could strengthen the graft case.

The trial, which revolves around events in 2011, begins on June 20.

A Milanese prosecutor, Fabio De Pasquale, said he had “sent more reminders” to the Swiss, saying he wanted the briefcase, underscoring its importance.

 International cooperation

“The prospect of tens of thousands of documents and hard drives belonging to a middleman in the case is definitely the kind of evidence that needs scrutiny. This display of international cooperation in law enforcement is opening the door to seeing justice,” said Barnaby Pace, an investigator at Global Witness, a non-profit anti-corruption group that has helped drive the case forward.

The defendants in the Milan case include Eni Chief Executive Officer, Claudio Descalzi, as well as former executives at Shell.

Milanese prosecutors allege the companies paid most of the $1.1 billion into an escrow account for the Nigerian government.

About $800 million of that was later transferred to Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd., a Lagos-based company linked to former Minister of Petroleum, Dan Etete, to be then distributed as payoffs, according to the prosecutors.

Eni has cooperated unconditionally with investigating authorities, the company said in an email.

Eni’s board of directors has repeatedly expressed confidence that Descalzi and the company did nothing wrong.

The trial gives Eni and its executives the opportunity to demonstrate “the legality of their actions around the OPL 245 transaction,” the Rome-based company said in the email, referring to the specific offshore petroleum license.

A lawyer for Obi, Roberto Pisano, declined to comment, as did a spokeswoman for Shell.

There is no proof that there was corruption or “that Malabu corrupted Nigerian officials,” said Antonio Secci, Etete’s lawyer. “We are not the vendor of this OPL, we do transactions.

A team of prosecutors found the bag when they were searching the home of a suspect, who can’t be identified under Swiss law.

That person was allegedly involved in a separate scheme with former Credit Suisse Group AG banker, Patrice Lescaudron, who was convicted of diverting millions of euros from client accounts earlier this year.

The Swiss planned to send its contents to their Italian counterparts but were blocked by Obi’s seal order.

A spokesman for Geneva prosecutors said they were waiting for a decision from the Constraint Measures Court so they could forward the documents to Milan.

If the Swiss tribunal decides to send the cache of evidence to the Italian authorities, that decision is subject to appeal.

Obi, who is also facing Italian bribery charges, has opted to have a “fast-track” trial, which may conclude before the dispute over whether to share the briefcase’s contents is resolved.

Other defendants undergoing a normal trial, including Shell and Eni, may be in court for as long as two years.

Obi is the sole shareholder of a company that acted as an intermediary between Eni and Etete.

Obi then sued Etete in a London court for failing to honour payments Obi claimed were contractually due to him. (Nigerian Tribune)

Source News Express

Posted 26/05/2018 1:32:46 PM


Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+



REVEALED: 3 natural ways to get stronger erections, last 25 minutes on bed, and increase manhood size without using drugs. Also, Natural Prostrate Enlargement Remedy.. Get In HERE...


You may also like...
Hard-fighting Eagles bow to world champions Spain, crash...

Boko Haram: 830,000 Nigerians in danger of starving...

Troops kill 11 Boko Haram insurgents, destroy bomb...

Court remands Niger PDP Chairman, Tanko Beji, in...

Countdown to Anambra Guber Poll: Obiano Campaign Organisation...

NO SHAKING, NIGERIANS!: Emergency Rule won’t hurt economy,...

Rivers REC Khan blocking us from accessing evidence...

Katsina lawmakers approve Masari’s N2b loan request from...

SEC, EFCC to partner on market policing

FG says probe of indicted NHIS Executive Secretary...

Arsenal go top of English Premier League with...

NERC licences 8 companies to generate 1,648.25mw of...


Latest News Oshiomhole, 19 others elected at APC Convention World Cup: Football fan slips into coma while celebrating Super Eagles’ victory APC Convention: Drama as Oyegun’s security detail barred from Eagle Square HURIWA to world leaders: Intervene and stop crackdown on opposition in Nigeria Ekiti Guber: INEC, APC preloading card readers — Fayose Suspected herdsmen kill 18 in Adamawa village APC National Convention: Gov. Sani-Bello optimistic of peaceful, rancor-free exercise Prophet to Obasanjo: Seek forgiveness over June 12 Cholera: 24 new cases recorded in Adamawa APC loses members to PDP in Edo Lai Mohammed faults CPJ, says no journalist is in detention in Nigeria NHRC must push for quick investigation into Bukhari’s murder, end to impunity — SAMDEN


Most Read Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (352,925 views) NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (352,699 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (280,859 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (230,533 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (209,366 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (209,285 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (182,170 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (164,368 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (154,104 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (148,957 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (144,139 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (135,872 views)


Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (50) Business & Economy (3,266) Business Verdict (44) Columnists (871) Complaints & Requests (94) Enterprise & Opportunities (207) Entertainment (507) Features (607) Global Business Monitor (284) International (2,050) Interview (155) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (124) News (36,439) Opinion (1,005) Pidgin (10) Politics (5,322) Religion (772) Sports (1,560) Stock Watch (30) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update


CBN banner

Firstmobile banner




Nigeria vs Iceland 2-0 All Goals & Highlights


APO Group Partner




GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member



Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera