Federal Government on Wednesday said that it was studying a UK commercial court judgement that ruled that there is no evidence of fraud in the OPL 245 transaction between Nigeria and JP Morgan Chase Bank.
The Commercial Court of England and Wales on Tuesday, June 14, ruled on the matter in Case No CL-2017-000730 as contained in its 137-paged judgement.
An Italian court in 2021 also dismissed all corruption charges in the OPL 245 deal, discharging and acquitting all the defendants.
The Nigerian government in the judgement lost $1.7 billion claims against JP Morgan Chase Bank over the transfer of proceeds from the sale of OPL 245 in 2011
The Minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed while responding to questions from State House Correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council, Presidential, Villa, said the government’s lawyers will study the ruling and decide whether to appeal or not.
The Nigerian 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.
Lawyers to the Nigerian government alleged that the bank ignored “glaring” red flags, including “overwhelming” evidence of fraud and stark warnings from its own compliance staff when it authorized the payments.