Nigeria charges Shell, Eni with corruption in oil bloc sale

Nigeria has filed criminal charges of corruption against oil multinationals Royal Dutch Shell and Eni over the $1.1 billion sale of one of Africa's richest oil blocs.

Charges filed at the High Court in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, allege the companies paid $801 million to former Oil Minister Dan Etete, former Justice Minister Mohammed Bello Adoke and businessman Aliyu Abubakar for the license to OPL 245. Nigeria's government got only $210 million.

Court papers stamped Thursday and seen by The Associated Press name the accused as Shell's Nigeria subsidiary and its ex-director Ralph Wetzels, Italy's Eni, Eni's Nigeria subsidiary Agip and its officers Roberto Casula, Stefano Pujatti and Sebastiano Burrafato.

The oil companies have declared their innocence, saying the money was paid into a Nigerian government account.