By Our Correspondent
An Abuja High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Jabi, has ordered the arrest of Dan Etete, a former Minister of Petroleum, and Mohammed Adoke, a former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, for their alleged involvement in the Malabu Oil scandal.
The court also wants Raph Wetzels, Casula Roberto, Pujato Stefeno, and Burrato Sebastiano. Justice Danlami Z. Senchi who gave the order following an ex parte application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for a warrant of arrest against the aforementioned persons did not waste time in granting the order because the affected individuals were absent in court.
The EFCC, through its lawyer, Mr. Aliyu Yusuf, informed the judge that it had not been able to apprehend the suspects since 2016 and 2017 when it filed two sets of charges 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 $1.2 billion, forgery of bank documents, bribery and corruption. The alleged $1.2 billion 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, which are pending before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
EFCC has since 2017 pressed charges against Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Co. Ltd; Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited; Eni Spa, Raph Wetzels; Casula Roberto; Pujato Stefeno; Burrato Sebastiano; Duazia Louya Etete (Dan Etete); Mohammed Bello Adoke; Aliyu Abubakar and Malabu Oil & Gas Limited. All the defendants declared wanted had repeatedly failed to appear before the court. Justice Senchi granted the prayers of the EFCC and ordered the Nigeria Police, the INTERPOL, and any other law enforcement agency to arrest them anywhere they were found, including outside the jurisdiction of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court and adjourned the matter to July 11, 2019.