A court in Nigeria ordered the arrest of two former ministers and others allegedly connected with illegal payments leading to the 2011 acquisition of what is considered one of the biggest oil fields in the West African country.
Former Justice Minister and Attorney General Mohammed Adoke, ex-Oil Minister Dan Etete and five foreign nationals linked to the acquisition of Malabu’s Oil Prospecting Licence 245 were declared wanted Wednesday by Justice Danlami Senchi of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
In court cases in Italy and Nigeria, parties to the transaction, including Royal Dutch Shell and Eni, are accused of improperly settling disputes over the oil field. Both companies deny any wrongdoing.
The licence had originally been awarded in 1998 by Nigeria’s military dictator, Sani Abacha, to Malabu, which his family owned with then-Oil Minister Etete. Under successive governments, the licence was canceled, awarded to Shell, and then awarded to Malabu again before the 2011 deal.