FG loses $1.7b claims against JP Morgan Chase

The Federal Government yesterday, lost its $1.7 billion claims against JP Morgan Chase Bank.

Nigeria had charged the bank to court over the transfer of proceeds from the sale of OPL 245 in 2011, operated by Malabu Oil and Gas Limited.

In a verdict by the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales, the Commercial Court said there was no proof that Nigeria was defrauded in the deal.

The Federal Government had sued JP Morgan on the grounds of “Quincecare duty”, alleging that the bank “ought to have known” that there was corruption and fraud in the transaction which saw Malabu Oil and Gas Limited sell its 100 percent in OPL 245 to Shell and ENI for $1.1 billion.

Nigeria argued that there were enough “red flags” for JP Morgan to have halted the transfers.

But the bank rejected Nigeria’s claims, maintaining that all due processes were followed and money laundering checks were done.

In the judgment, Justice Sara Cockerill ruled that the Nigerian government could not prove that it was defrauded.

She said it may be that with the benefit of hindsight, “JPMorgan would have done things differently” but declared that “none of these things individually or collectively amount to triggering and then breaching” the bank’s duty of care to its client.



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