An Italian court will today decide an aspect of the legal battle between two oil giants Eni and Shell over the Malabu oil deal.
A Milan judge will decide whether $1.1 billion of the sum paid in the controversial deal was siphoned in bribes to win the license to the field.
Eni and Shell are in court over the 2011 purchase of OPL 245, an oil field reputed to be one of Africa’s biggest, for about $1.3 billion.
Today’s ruling involves Emeka Obi and Gianluca Di Nardo in a parallel case involving Eni’s Chief Executive Officer Claudio Descalzi, four former Shell managers, one-time Shell Foundation Chairman Malcolm Brinded.
Obi is one of the middle men who had claimed that he deserved a share of the $1.3 billion.
He claimed he helped in the negotiations between the oil giants and a former petroleum minister Dan Etete.
Italian prosecutors allege that Obi received a mandate from Mr Etete to find a buyer for OPL 245.