The Italian Judge presiding over the case against Shell and Eni in Milan, has delayed the testimony of AA Oil boss, Aliyu Abubakar, who was described as a major key witness to the Malabu oil scandal trail in Italy.
Why Judge postponed testimony
It was disclosed that Abubakar, through his Italian defense lawyer, requested for a delay in his testimony hearing a day before the court setting on Wednesday. His plea for the postponement was backed by the limited timeframe to prepare for the testimony, having just employed the services of the unnamed Italian lawyers.
According to an oil campaigner for Global Witness, Barnaby Pace, who tweeted live from the trial, Abubakar was supported by some defendants who said he is an important witness and his new lawyers haven’t had time to review all the evidence.
1/ I'm tweeting at the Shell Eni trial in Milan today. Aliyu Abubakar is the witness today. Prosecutors allege he "was operating as an agent for Goodluck Jonathan" in the deal and was key to distributing $520m in cash bribes. Thread to follow. pic.twitter.com/IkNW39ZN8o
— Barnaby Pace (@pace_nik) March 13, 2019
The case against Aliyu Abubakar
It was alleged by prosecutors that he “was operating as an agent for Goodluck Jonathan” in the deal and was key to distributing $520 million in cash bribes.
Nairametrics had reported that Executives of oil giants Royal Dutch Shell and Eni, will face trial in Italy over the $1.1 billion Malabu affair.
Abubakar, who is also facing charges in Italy in the same case, was only until recently served the court papers by the prosecutors. And given the scope of the charges and evidence against him, the judge ruled that a delay should be granted and the prosecutor will offer a new date.
Aliyu Abubakar also has an ongoing case in Nigeria
Aliyu Abubakhar, the former oil minister Dan Etete, and former Attorney General Mohammed Adoke were charged with fraud and money laundering offenses in relation to the OPL 245 deal on the 16th of December 2016: All the defendant denied the charges.
Also, the former Attorney General Mohammed Adoke and businessman Aliyu Abubakar were charged with additional money laundering offenses on January 30, 2017. Again, both defendants denied the charges.