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FG: We’re Studying UK Court Judgement On OPL 245

The Federal Government said it will study a judgement delivered on Tuesday by a London court in a suit filed by Nigeria against JP Morgan Chase Bank over an alleged fraudulent crude oil facility transaction, and decide on the way forward.

The judgement delivered by Judge Sara Cockerill, held that Nigeria failed to show prove that the said transaction defrauded the country.

Nigeria had filed a civil suit against JP Morgan Chase Bank over the purchase by Shell and Eni of the offshore OPL 245 oilfield in Nigeria, for $1.1 billion.

The judgment meant that the Nigerian government has lost $1.7 billion in claims against the bank.

Lawyers to the Feder Government had contended that the contract awarded to former Petroleum Minister, Dan Etete, to explore the deep waters off the Gulf of Guinea was corrupt, alleging that the bank “ought to have known” that there was corruption and fraud in the transaction which saw Malabu sell its 100 per cent in OPL 245 to Shell and ENI for $1.1 billion.”

They had argued that JP Morgan Chase Bank ignored “glaring” red flags, including “overwhelming” evidence of fraud and stark warnings from its own compliance staff when it authorised the payments.

However, briefing State House Correspondents after the week’s virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said government’s lawyers will study the ruling and decide whether to appeal or not.

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