Malcolm Brinded, an ex- Upstream Chief of Shell Petroleum, has told international prosecutors that the sum of $1.3 billion paid by Shell and Eni in 2011 to acquire OPL 245 offshore field was lawful, and he had no reason to think it was illegal.
This was disclosed by the lawyer to the defendants, Marco Calleri, in a Milan court prosecuting the sale of the oilfield to Shell and Eni, which Italian authorities have accused of bribery and corruption related to the deal, as reported by Reuters.
Malcolm Brinded told prosecutors that Shell believed the Malabu deal would attract investments and growth to Nigeria’s oil sector and saw the deal as lawful.
“I stand by my view that there is absolutely no basis for the charges against me,” Brinded told the court.
- Brinded is part of 13 people involved in the corruption case including the CEO of Eni, Claudio Descalzi. Both Eni and Shell have denied cases of corruption against them in the deal.
- He is also one of four former Shell executives caught up in the long-running bribery case revolving around the purchase of the OPL 245 offshore field.
What you should know about the Malabu oil field scandal
- Nairametrics reported last week that Dan Etete, former Nigerian Minister of Petroleum said that the $1.3 billion sale of Malabu oil field to Shell and Eni was legally perfect, with zero trace of corruption in the deal. He pleaded not-guilty and said that the proceeds of the deal were paid into accounts owned by the Nigerian Government.
- Italian prosecutors claimed that most of the payments were kickbacks to Nigerian government officials and that nearly $1.1 billion was stolen by Nigerian politicians and middlemen, with Dan Etete keeping half.
- Royal Dutch Shell, announced that it would write down its investment in the controversial Malabu OPL 245 offshore field in Nigeria.