Trial SHELL, ENI IN NIGERIA : GLOBAL ANTI CORRUPTION COALITION

The coalition noted that because of the differences between legal systems in Italy and Nigeria, no "double jeopardy" agreement exists between the two countries, hence, Eni, Shell, Etete, Abubakar and several others who were charged in Milan are also being prosecuted in Nigeria.

Trial SHELL, ENI IN NIGERIA : GLOBAL ANTI CORRUPTION COALITION

The partial freedom granted oil giants by Italian courts in the internationally accliamed OPL 245 corruption case will not stop the prosecution of the accused in Nigeria, a foremost global anti-corruption coalition has said.

The coalition made up of  Re:Common, The Corner House, HEDA Resource Centre and Global Witness In a letter addressed to President Muhammad Buhari, said Nigeria should press on with the corruption charges and should not be cowed by any bully tactics of the oil giants who may see the Italy ruling as a shield.

The coalition's petition signed by Luca Manes of Re:Common, Nicholas Hildyard of The Corner House, Olanrewaju Suraju of Human and Environmental Development Agenda, (HEDA Resource Centre) and Simon Taylor, Global of Witness urged Nigerian prosecutors to carry on  legal actions against Eni, Shell and some Nigerian officials who were involved in backwater dealings involving billions of illicit funds embezzled in oil well OPL 245.

The Milan Tribunal ruled on 17 March 2021 that the 13 defendants in OPL 245 international corruption trial had no case to answer. But there are prospects of an appeal in Italy the Milan Public Prosecutor’s Office will likely take.

 The coalition noted that because of the differences between legal systems in Italy and Nigeria, no "double jeopardy" agreement exists between the two countries, hence, Eni, Shell, Etete, Abubakar and several others who were charged in Milan are also being prosecuted in Nigeria.

The petition read in part "We are aware of mischievous, self-serving calls in press from allies of those being charged that the Nigerian prosecutions should be dropped on the basis that Milan has found no case to answer. These calls must be rejected. Italy is not in charge of Nigeria's justice system. The judges in Nigeria must be allowed to hear the cases and to judge them on the basis of Nigerian law. Indeed, the world is now watching the Nigerian prosecutions,"

The group said the judgment of the international community, already alarmed by the dismal Italian ruling, is likely to be harsh were Nigeria to drop the cases, given the strength of the evidence amassed by the EFCC.

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