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Malabu oil deal: UK court ‘to hear’ Nigeria’s $1.7bn suit against JP Morgan

Malabu oil deal: UK court ‘to hear’ Nigeria’s $1.7bn suit against JP Morgan
February 23
15:53 2022

A British high court will begin a hearing on the lawsuit filed by the federal government against JP Morgan Chase, claiming more than $1.7 billion for the bank’s role in a disputed 2011 Malabu oil deal.

According to Reuters, the trial is due for hearing on Wednesday.

Citing court papers, Reuters reported that the federal government alleged that JP Morgan was “grossly negligent” in payment.

A spokesman for J.P. Morgan said the bank is confident that it acted appropriately.

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In 2018, the federal government sued JP Morgan Chase over funds paid for the contentious oil prospecting licence (OPL) 245.

The government had accused JP Morgan of gross negligence in transferring part of the $1.3 billion payment made by Shell and Eni to secure the oilfield deal from Malabu Oil and Gas controlled by Dan Etete, a former petroleum minister instead of government coffers.

In the suit, the government has said the bank should have taken substantial precautions “or at least suspected” before transferring the said funds.

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Last year, the London court asked JP Morgan Chase to disclose more documents about handlings of funds to the federal government.

The deal involved the purchase of the offshore oil field in 2011 for $1.3 billion by Royal Dutch Shell and Eni from Malabu Oil and Gas.

It is alleged that about $1.1 billion from that ($1.3 billion) was siphoned by politicians and middlemen.

An Italian court had acquitted Shell, Eni and other defendants of corruption charges in the oil deal.

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