ABUJA Feb 27 A Nigerian court will rule on
March 13 on a request by Royal Dutch Shell and Italy's
Eni to lift the
temporary seizing of a long-disputed oilfield, a judge said on
The court last month ordered the temporary seizing of assets
and the transfer of operations of the OPL 245 field owned by
Shell and Eni, among others, to the federal government on
request of the country's financial crime agency EFCC.
The case is the latest of several inquiries, following those
by Dutch and Italian authorities, into the 2011 purchase of the
OPL 245 block, which could hold up to 9.23 billion barrels of
oil, according to industry figures.
"The matter is adjourned to the 13th of March 2017 for
ruling on the applications," Justice John Tsoho told a court
Shell's lawyer Kayinsola Ajayi said the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had failed to follow the
necessary steps such as issuing an arrest warrant first before
seeking a forfeiture.
EFCC lawyer Johnson Ojogbane dismissed this.
According to court papers seen by Reuters last month, the
inquiry is investigating whether the $1.3 billion purchase of
OPL 245 involved "acts of conspiracy, bribery, official
corruption and money laundering."
(Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Mark Potter)