The long running Malabu saga, has picked up speed as a sub trial will begin in Italy this week. The trial had originally been meant to commence in March, and will determine if the $1.1 billion paid to various parties was a bribe.

Italian prosecutors had asked that Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi, Shell former CEO Paolo Scaroni and several others are to face trial. They have, however, maintained no wrongdoing was committed.

How it all began  

Malabu acquired the block from the Federal Government in 1998 for $20 million dollars. The company was owned (through fronts) by Sani Abacha, Dan Etete and Ambassador Hassan Adamu. Etete was petroleum minister at the time. CAC documents pertaining to the company were allegedly missing, and allegations of forgery have since cropped up.

Under the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, the oil bloc was seized and then handed over to Shell. In 2011 Shell then pays $1.3 billion with the Federal Republic of Nigeria acting as an obligor.

$1.1 billion is paid to the FG’s Domiciliary Escrow Account, from where the sum of $801,540,000 was transferred to 2 different accounts, one in First Bank and the other in Keystone Bank, upon the instruction of Mohammed Bello Adoke (the Attorney General of the Federation). Etete was the sole signatory to both accounts. A United Kingdom court has frozen $85 million being proceeds from the sale of the block.

Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi (commonly known as ENI) was founded on February 10, 1953. The Italian government owns a 30.303% stake in the firm. ENI is currently trading at 16.18 Euros on the FTSE MIB (Italian stock exchange).

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, commonly known as Shell, is a British–Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in the Netherlands and incorporated in the United Kingdom. The company was founded in 1907 in London. Shell is currently trading at 28.28 Euros on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.

Onome Ohwovoriole has a degree in Economics and Statistics from the University of Benin and prior to joining Nairametrics in December 2016 as Lead Analyst had stints in Publishing, Automobile Services, Entertainment and Leadership Training. He covers companies in the Nigerian corporate space, especially those listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). He also has a keen interest in new frontiers like Cryptocurrencies and Fintech. In his spare time, he loves to read books on finance, fiction as well as keep up with happenings in the world of international diplomacy. You can contact him via


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