Oil multinationals Eni, Shell in trouble with the law for defrauding Nigeria

The oil companies say they’re innocent in what could become one of the biggest corruption cases in history.

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PRETORIA - A court in Milan is considering charges against oil multinationals Eni and Shell for allegedly defrauding Nigeria of $6 billion in petroleum revenue.

The oil companies say they’re innocent in what could become one of the biggest corruption cases in history.

The corruption, conflict and environmental abuse watchdog Global Witness says Eni and Shell knew full well that their payments securing exploration rights to the Nigerian Block 245 seven years ago would stick to corrupt fingers.

The court is looking at evidence that in order to secure exploration rights, the oil companies altered earlier contractual terms, depriving Nigeria of billions in revenue.

Global Witness reckons the amount stolen would pay for twice the Nigerian giant’s annual education and health care budget.