An Abuja High Court on Wednesday ordered the arrest of former attorney-general of the federation, Mohammed Adoke, and five others over the controversial $2.1bn Malabu Oil scam.
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had named the six of them in a charge it filed, bordering on the fraudulent allocation of the Oil Prospecting License 245 and money laundering involving the sum of about $1.2bn, forgery of bank documents and bribery.
The presiding judge of the court, Justice D. Z. Senchi, issued the arrest warrant against the suspects following an ex parte application by the EFCC.
Others listed on the arrest warrant are; former minister of petroleum resources, Dan Etete, Raph Wezels, Casula Roberto, Pujato Stefeno and Burrato Sebastino, and Aliyu Abubakar.
The alleged $1.2bn scam involved the transfer of the OPL 245 purportedly from Malabu Oil and Gas Limited to Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Co. Limited and Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited.
OPL 245 is an oilfield in the Niger Delta, estimated in some quarters as holding about nine billion barrels of crude oil. It is considered as one of the most lucrative on the continent.
The suspects were all to be arraigned before Senchi on Wednesday but did not show up in court.
EFCC’s counsel, Aliyu Yusuf, brought a motion ex parte praying the court for a warrant of their arrest, and an order for leave to execute the warrant outside of the jurisdiction of the court.
Justice Senchi granted the prayers of the EFCC, and ruled that the Nigeria Police, the INTERPOL and any other law enforcement agency should arrest them anywhere they are found.
He adjourned the matter till July 11, 2019 for further hearing.