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Italian prosecutors won’t appeal acquittal of two in Nigerian oil graft case

By Guardian Nigeria
03 November 2021   |   7:12 pm
The acquittal of Nigerian Emeka Obi and Italian Gianluca Di Nardo in a graft case in Nigeria involving Eni and Shell has become final after prosecutors said they would not appeal on behalf of the Nigerian government. In a decision seen by Reuters on Wednesday, Italy's Attorney General's Office said it would not challenge a…

The acquittal of Nigerian Emeka Obi and Italian Gianluca Di Nardo in a graft case in Nigeria
involving Eni and Shell has become final after prosecutors said they would not appeal on behalf of the Nigerian government.

In a decision seen by Reuters on Wednesday, Italy’s Attorney General’s Office said it would not challenge a June ruling by a top Italian court overturning jail sentences for the two men.

The prosecution itself had asked for the sentences to be overturned after a court in March acquitted Eni and Shell in the case, saying there was no case to answer.

Italian prosecutors and the Nigerian government have since appealed the acquittal of Eni and Shell as well as a series of past and present managers.

The case revolved around a deal in which Eni and Shell acquired the OPL 245 offshore oilfield in 2011 to settle a long-standing dispute over ownership.

Obi and Di Nardo were both accused of being middlemen and taking illegal kickbacks. They had been convicted in a fast-track trial back in 2018 separate from the main one.