The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Jabi, Abuja on Wednesday, ordered the arrest of the immediate-past Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dan Etete, and four others.
The six are named in the charges filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in relation to the $2.1bn Malabu Oil scam.
Others affected by the court’s arrest warrant issued on Wednesday are: Raph Wezels, Casula Roberto, Pujato Stefeno, Burrato Sebastino and Aliyu Abubakar.
Justice Danladi Senchi issued the arrest warrant against the suspects following an ex parte application by the EFCC.
Moving the application on Wednesday, the commission through its lawyer, Mr Aliyu Yusuf, informed the judge that it needed the arrest warrant to enable it to apprehend the suspects and bring them before the court for arraignment on the charges instituted against them since 2016.
Yusuf noted that apart from the charges pending in court, there were other two sets pending against them before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
According to the EFCC, the charges bordered on fraudulent allocation of the Oil Prospecting Licence 245 and money laundering involving the sum of about $1.2bn, forgery of bank documents, bribery and corruption.
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.
The three companies are defendants in the charges pending before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
An operative of the EFCC, Mr. Ahmed Ibrahim, stated in an affidavit filed along with the anti-graft agency’s ex parte application had stated that the issuance of an arrest warrant against the defendants would enable them to liaise with International Police Organisation to ensure their arrest.
The affidavit stated, “That arraignment of the defendants in this case couldn’t take place because the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th defendants/respondents are at large and have refused to make themselves available.
“That all efforts to apprehend the fleeing defendants/respondents proved abortive.
“That in furtherance of efforts to apprehend the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th defendants/respondents, the EFCC contacted the Nigeria Police to assist in watch-listing them and facilitating their arrest.