Abuja - Italian oil
giant, Eni has rallied behind its CEO, Claudio Descalzi after prosecutors
decided that he should stand trial for corruption related to the firm's 2011
purchase of an oil exploration licence in Nigeria.
Eni was quoted to have said in a
statement that, "The Board of Directors confirms its total confidence...
Descalzi was not involved in any way in the conduct under investigation."
quoting UK-based Financial Times newspaper, said: “A judge would have to
approve the request to try Mr Descalzi.”
The newspaper also quoted lead prosecutor, Fabio De
Pasquale as saying: “Prosecutors want to try him and ten other individuals who
were involved in the $1.3bn transaction in oil-rich Nigeria.”
Eni and Royal Dutch Shell,
which jointly owns the licence, have also been charged as companies, he said,
the newspaper reported.
Recall than an investigative report, last month, by
Italian prosecutors had named ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, former minister
of petroleum Diezani Alison-Madueke, former Attorney Generals Mohammed Adoke
and Bayo Ojo, former Minister of Defense and ex-National Security Adviser,
Aliyu Gusau as well as numerous other senior government officials in ain oil
deal involving $1.3 billion, about N400 billion.
According to the indictment report obtained Sahara
reporters, the Italian prosecutors alleged that Goodluck Jonathan and several
officials of his government as well as top corporate officials of the
international oil firms, Eni and Royal Dutch Shell, met several times between
2010 and 2011 to seal the fraudulent Malabu oil deal and split the massive.
Former President Jonathan has since publicly denied
any involvement in the deal.
- News 24