FG Sues Agip, Total Over $635mn Undeclared crude Oil … May Also Sue Chevron, Excon-Mobil For Infraction

Cash-strapped Nigeria has sued multi-national corporations Agip and Total, claiming $635 million being undeclared crude oil moved out of the country.
In the two cases filed at the Federal High Court in Lagos, the government alleged that the two companies shipped out the crude oil between 2011 and 2014.
The suits whose hearing begins this week, were filed on behalf of Nigeria by senior advocate Fabian Ajogwu.
According to a media outfit, Africa Review, the government will also file claims against other multinationals, including Chevron and Exxon-Mobil, for infraction in the sale of Nigeria’s crude oil.
In the two cases already filed, Abuja is claiming $490,517,280 from Total E&P Nigeria and $145,848,102 from Nigeria Agip Oil Company.
The statements of claim filed before the court are accompanied by the sworn affidavits of three US-based professionals.
Abuja contends that sometime in 2014, it realised a decline in its oil export revenue.
The observation necessitated an intelligent gathering of data, which showed that part of the reasons for the decline was the under-declaration of crude oil shipments made by some major companies operating in Nigeria.
A forensic analysis of export and the import records from respective ports of entry to the US by Agip and Total showed discrepancies.
The volume of crude oil declared to have been exported from Nigeria, was less than what was declared to have been imported into the US via the same shipment by the same vessel on the same bill.
Some other shipments were not declared by the defendants to the requisite authorities, particularly the pre-shipments inspection agents. In some instances, the crude oil shipments were completely undeclared.
The government alleged further that all crude oil and gas exports from Nigeria were required to be declared and inspected by pre -shipment Agents appointed by the Central Bank of Nigeria of revenue due from the crude oil shipments.
The inspection records were to be deposited with the Nigeria Finance ministry.

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