Oil multinational, Eni, has been accused of dealing with a company owned by a Congolese, who served under the government of dictator, Denis Sassou Nguesso.
Anti-corruption organisation, Global Witness, said in a report on Wednesday that Denis Gokana was oil adviser to Nguesso when he formed a company named Africa Oil and Gas Corporation.
Gokana had, according to Global Witness, proceeded to award AOGC stakes in three Eni-operated fields – a deal not contested by the Italian firm.
AOGC had followed up the deal with Eni by signing another one with a company named World Natural Resources.
The report said, “We reveal that Eni signed agreements with AOGC in 2013, up to a year earlier than previously reported and just months after AOGC brokered a deal in another oil block for World Natural Resources, an unknown company whose three representatives at the time had close ties to Eni and its senior executives, as first reported by L’Espresso.”
According to the oil and gas watchdog, AOGC have a public record of fraud, payments to companies owned by the president’s son and ties to three politically-exposed persons.
The relationship Eni entered into with AOGC caused an internal controversy at Eni, which contributed to the resignation of one of its board members, the United Kingdom-based organisation said.
The Eni deal in Congo is of a similar ilk to the contract struck between Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep in 2,000 with Malabu Oil and Gas.
Dan Etete, who created Malabu two years prior, was Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum at the time.
Shell and Eni purchased the firm’s sole license OPL 245 11 years later in a controversial $1.3bn deal that is under investigation in Milan, Italy, and a couple of other jurisdictions.