Nigerian Court Rejects Shell’s Bid to Unfreeze Its Bank Accounts

A Nigerian court rejected Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s bid to overturn an order restricting access to the company’s bank accounts in the West African country, a spokesman said.

Aiteo Eastern E&P Co. obtained an injunction from a federal court in Lagos on Jan. 25 directing Shell and multiple Nigerian banks not to let the oil major withdraw funds “without first preserving or ring-fencing” almost $2.8 billion. A judge refused Shell’s application to vacate the order at a hearing on Tuesday, according to a spokesman for the company’s Nigerian unit.

Shell has filed an appeal against the decision maintaining the freeze, the spokesman said. A spokesman for Aiteo, which is demanding billions of dollars in damages from Shell in the underlying lawsuit, didn’t respond to a request for comment. The case has been adjourned until March 29.