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The federal government has reportedly sued JP Morgan Chase for $875 million over funds paid for the contentious oil prospecting licence (OPL) 245.

It has accused JP Morgan of gross negligence in transferring part of the $1.3 billion payment made by Shell and Eni to secure the oilfield deal from Malabu Oil and Gas, a company controlled by Dan Etete, a former petroleum minister.

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According to Reuters, the lawsuit said the request sent to JP Morgan to transfer $800 million to accounts owned by Malabu emanated from finance ministry workers.

The federal government, in the suit, said the bank should have taken substantial precautions “or at least suspected” before transferring the said funds.

The suit was said to have been filed in a British court in November. Controversies, lawsuits and allegations have trailed the sale of the oilfield.

Out of the $1.3 billion paid by Shell and Eni for the block, only $210 million went to federal government as signature bonus, while Etete’s company received the rest.

In October 2017, the federal government announced the recovery of $85 million from the United Kingdom as part of funds from the Malabu deal.