A court in the United Kingdom has dismissed the Nigerian government’s $1bn bribery suit instituted against oil giants – Royal Dutch Shell and Eni.
The judge, Christopher Butcher, delivered the ruling at a virtual hearing on Friday, upholding that England had no jurisdiction to try the case as it involves the same essential facts as a separate Italian criminal case.
The years-old dispute is over exploration rights to a tract in the Gulf of Guinea called Oil Prospecting License 245 that has spread to courtrooms throughout Europe.
The Nigerian government claims that money the companies paid to the federal government to acquire the oil exploration licence in 2011 was diverted to bribes and kickbacks.
Shell and Eni have denied any wrongdoing.
The Nigerian government stated that the Italian criminal case has a completely separate legal basis from the UK civil case and it would seek permission to appeal.