From the Field
Two sentenced in Eni, Shell corruption case
MILAN, September 21, 2018 – An Italian court has given two men prison sentences in a corruption case involving Eni and Shell in Nigeria, international media reported Thursday.
Emeka Obi and Gianluca Di Nardo were sentenced to four years in prison for their role as go-betweens in the 2011 sale of the OPL 245 offshore block to Shell and Eni, AFP reported. The decision included the seizure of millions of dollars and Swiss francs from the two.
“Today sees the first men fall in the murky Malabu scandal,” Global Witness campaigner Barnaby Pace said in a statement. “As Shell and Eni’s trial looms, time will tell whether it’s just the middlemen who pay the price for this epic crime against the Nigerian people.”
The two companies and 13 defendants were sent to trial by an Italian judge in December 2017. Among the defendants are Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi and former chief Paolo Scaroni. Malcolm Brinded, former executive director for upstream international; Peter Robinson, former vice-president for Shell’s sub-Saharan Africa operations; Guy Colegate, a business adviser; and John Copleston, a strategic investment adviser were all charged with bribery in October. Shell and Eni both deny wrongdoing.