First, the trial was moved to another court in Milan, then, it was eventually postponed.

On Monday, an Italian court postponed to May 14 the start of a trial of Royal Dutch Shell and Eni executives over alleged corruption in Nigeria.

The trial was originally expected to start on Monday.

The case involves the 2011 purchase by Eni and Shell of Nigeria of one of Africa’s most valuable oil blocks - OPL-245 offshore oilfield -  for about $1.3 billion.

Milan prosecutors allege bribes were paid to win the license to explore the field, which has never entered into production.

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All the accused have denied any wrongdoing.

A Milan judge ruled in December that the companies, along with present and past executives, would face trial.

The case has been ongoing since 2016 and Nigeria’s financial crimes watchdog, the EFCC has also been on it.

EFCC alleges that the defendants are accused of being part of a scheme to defraud the government of 1.1 billion naira.

Last month, the Commission said defendants would be formally arraigned in June this year including former attorney general, ex-ministers of justice and various senior managers, both current and former, from Shell and Eni.

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