The Federal Government’s suit against JPMorgan Chase & Co has been described as a claim with no real prospect of success by Rosalind Phelps, a lawyer for the American multinational investment bank.
The Nigerian government filed a legal action against JPMorgan Chase & Co for the company’s failure to prevent $875 million in corrupt payments. But the lawyer told the UK court to strike out the lawsuit, stating that Nigerian officials approved the transfer of the funds to accounts of former oil minister, Dan Etete.
According to a Bloomberg report, after settling a controversial oil deal in 2011, the money was sent to Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd., a firm controlled by Dan Etete, who’s been convicted of money laundering.
The bank “had no duty to inquire into or investigate the validity or legality of the instructions it received
“The only allegation that’s left is one of negligence.” Rosalind Phelps, a lawyer for JPMorgan, said in court.
Nigeria’s claim against JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan was reportedly “on notice” and the bank faced several “red flags” that should have caused it to block the payments, Nigeria stated in its submissions to the court. Adding that the contracts to explore the deep offshore waters of the Gulf of Guinea were tainted by corruption.
The fraud was said to have reached the highest levels of the government of then-President Goodluck Jonathan, who also denied wrongdoing. The bank should have realized it couldn’t trust the senior officials from whom it took the instructions, Nigeria has said.
Shell and ENI’s role in the controversial oil deal
The controversial oil deal — the OPL 245 oilfield — was said to have been signed off to Shell and ENI after both companies allegedly paid bribes to Nigerian officials to the tune of $1.1 billion. The man who is alleged to have received the bribe is former Nigerian Minister of Petroleum, Dan Etete, who reportedly used his company to receive kickbacks from the deal.
Although, Shell and Eni have previously denied any wrongdoing in an Italian criminal case over the block, called OPL 245. The companies said they made the payment into a legitimate government account to settle legal claims related to the block.
JPMorgan Chase is one of the oldest financial institutions in the United States. With a history dating back over 200 years. JPMorgan Chase is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management.
The company’s stock is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. With assets of $2.6 trillion, the company has a presence in over 100 markets, with over 250,000 employees serving millions of consumers, small businesses and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients.