Aliyu Abubakar Ordered to Stand Trial on $500M Bribery Charges in Italy - Politics,Gossips & Nollywood

Aliyu Abubakar Ordered to Stand Trial on $500M Bribery Charges in Italy

An Italian judge has ordered businessman Aliyu Abubakar to stand trial for alleged international corruption relating to a Nigerian oil graft case involving Eni and Shell, a judicial source and his lawyer said on Wednesday.

Milan prosecutors allege that Alhaji Aliyu Abubakar played a central role in one of the oil industry’s biggest scandals in years, handing out more than $500 million in cash to powerful Nigerian government officials.

Aliyu Abubakar

The money is alleged to come out of the $1.3 billion license fee paid by Eni and Shell for access to the OPL-245 offshore oilfield located in the southern Niger Delta.

Abubakar’s Italian lawyer, Davide Pozzi, said his client, who lives in Nigeria, denies any wrongdoing in the case.

“Mr. Abubakar will clarify his position in the appropriate place,” he said.

Alleged Mansion in Abuja belonging to Alhaji Aliyu Abubakar sealed off by EFCC

Italian prosecutors allege that Eni and Shell bought the oilfield in 2011 knowing that most of the purchase price would be siphoned off to middlemen and local politicians.

Both firms and the managers accused in the Milan court case, including Eni’s current chief executive Claudio Descalzi, has denied any wrongdoing.

Abubakar, an influential Nigerian businessman, was already under investigation but prosecutors were unable to locate him to serve the necessary deeds to put him on trial until he appeared in the case as a witness via a video linkup in February 2019.

The start of his trial has been scheduled for May 14 before a Milan court, Pozzi said. However, it is unclear whether he will actually appear.

In the main part of the multi-strand case, prosecutors are due to begin summing up and setting out sentencing requests for Descalzi and other defendants beginning on March 25.

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