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JPMorgan urges London Court to dismiss Nigeria’s $875 mn litigation

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JPMorgan Chase & Co. has asked a London court to dismiss the $875 million lawsuit brought by the Nigerian government alleging the bank’s role in financial crimes.

According to reports from Bloomberg, JPMorgan claims to have followed due process in transferring the funds to accounts controlled by a former oil minister Dan Etete, insisting that it got correct approval from the Nigerian government before making the payments.

The Nigerian government, in roping the bank, said JPMorgan was “on notice” citing obvious “red flags” which should have prompted it to block the payments.

However, Rosalind Phelps, a lawyer for JPMorgan maintained that the accusation from the Nigerian government of JPMorgan’s failings to prevent $875 million in corrupt payments was misinformed.

“(JPMorgan) had no duty to inquire into or investigate the validity or legality of the instructions it received,” Phelps, said in court. “The only allegation that’s left is one of negligence.”

Other parties to the corruption case include Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Eni Spa which put more than $1.1 billion for the license into an escrow account. The government has sued both in separate cases for diversion of the funds for bribes and kickbacks, although both parties have denied any wrongdoings.

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