ENI, also known as the Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, has said the transactions leading up to the auctioning of $1,616,690,656.78 Malabu oil block were not fraudulent.
The board of directors of the oil firm made this known in a statement on Wednesday.
ENI said that an independent US law firm had conducted forensic investigations into the block and returned a “not guilty verdict”.
It said that neither the company nor its CEO Claudio Descalzi were involved in alleged illicit conduct.
“Eni’s Board of Directors today takes note of the outcome of further forensic investigations into the 2011 transaction between Eni and Shell and the Nigerian Government for the acquisition of the OPL 245 licence in Nigeria,” the statement read.
“The investigations were conducted by an independent US law firm. They were commissioned by Eni’s Board of Statutory Auditors and Watch Structure.
“The investigations examined the new materials and further information filed by the Milan prosecutors as part of the closure of the investigation in December 2016.
“The law firm confirms the conclusions reached by previous investigations in 2015, stating that there is no evidence of corrupt conduct in relation to the transaction. Eni’s Board of Directors confirmed its total confidence that neither the company nor its CEO Claudio Descalzi were involved in alleged illicit conduct under investigation.”
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, in response to a court order, had seized the oil block pending the conclusion of investigation of the deal.
The oil firms are Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCO), Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, and Malabu Oil and Gas Limited.