An oil mogul in Nigeria has been charged with fraud by an Italian court after being accused of collecting $500m bribe.
Alhaji Aliyu Abubakar
A Nigerian businessman, Alhaji Aliyu Abubakar, chairman of AA Oil has found himself in serious trouble after being charged in Italy for allegedly collecting $500m bribe by ENI and Shell.
An Italian judge ordered the Nigerian businessman, Alhaji Aliyu Abubakar to stand trial for alleged international corruption relating to a Nigeria oil graft case involving Eni and Shell, a judicial source and his lawyer said on Wednesday.
Milan prosecutors allege that Abubakar, a reclusive billionaire and chairman of AA Oil, 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.
The money is alleged to come out of the $1.3 billion licence 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.
The famous house of Aliyu Abubakar in Abuja, he once said he bought the land for N1billion in 2005.
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.