Nigeria suffers setback as Shell, Eni escape $1bn UK bribery suit

Nigeria suffers setback as Shell, Eni escape $1bn UK bribery suit

A London judge ruled Friday that Nigeria’s $1 billion suit against oil giants Shell and Eni over the controversial Malabu deal cannot go ahead in England.

According to, High Court Judge Christopher Butcher said the court does not have jurisdiction to hear the claim.

In his written decision, the judge said that the English case has both the same essential facts and parties as parallel proceedings in Italy both brought by the Nigerian government over the Malabu deal.

PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported how both oil giants argued to stop or stay proceedings in the $1 billion lawsuit brought by the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN).

Virtual hearings in the case took place last month, during which the companies argued to halt the $1 billion English suit as duplicating the ongoing criminal trial and parallel civil claim being brought by Nigeria in Italy over the controversial OPL 245.

The defendants – Eni, Shell and others – asked for the court to decline jurisdiction under article 29 of the recast Brussels Regulation, as the Italian case against the companies is still ongoing.

More details will be provided in subsequent reports.