Ex-Nigerian oil minister, 12 others set for trial in Italy over Malabu deal

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A week after he was charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in Abuja, Italian authorities have indicated their intention to file criminal charges against a former Minister of Petroleum, Dan Etete, for his involvement in the $1.1 billion Malabu oil deal, Premium Times reports.

The prosecutors filed the notice in a Milan court last week. The EFCC slammed a seven-count charge of money laundering and fraud on Mr. Etete and others on December 20 at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Apart from Mr. Etete, another Nigerian identified as Chukwuemeka Obi, is also among the 11 individuals to be charged by the Italian authorities. Shell and Eni are also to be sued, indicating a total of 13 defendants.

Mr. Obi and his firm, EVP, had laid claim to about $110 million of the $1.1 billion paid by Shell and Eni for OPL 245, considered Nigeria’s richest oil block. The money is currently trapped in Switzerland where it has been frozen by a court.